Buyers Flock Online on Black Friday

Experts predict continued growth on Cyber Monday.

by staff writer
- Nov 28, 2011

Online retailers saw more green than black the day after Thanksgiving, as online sales increased more than 26 percent compared to the same time last year.

Shoppers spent $816 million online on Black Friday, making it the busiest holiday spending day so far this holiday season, reports research firm comScore.

The top online sellers on that day were Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple. All of these retailers saw double-digit increases in traffic. eBay also saw an increase in visitor traffic, reports President and CEO John Donahoe, though he didn't quantify the increase.

Still, PayPal processed $10,000 a minute on mobile devices during Black Friday, making it a very busy day.

"Despite some analysts' predictions that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors early for Black Friday would pull dollars from online retail, we still saw a banner day for e-commerce with more than $800 million in spending," says Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman. "With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it's clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels."

He added that comScore is now looking at today's sales since, historically, Cyber Monday has been one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. Last year's Cyber Monday was the most profitable online shopping day ever, bringing in more than $1 billion, he says.

"We fully expect to see another record set this year," Fulgoni notes.

Indeed, by midday, IBM Benchmark was reporting that Cyber Monday sales were up 15 percent compared to the same day last year.

Thanksgiving also had online retailers rejoicing. On that day, shoppers spent $479 million, an 18-percent year-over-year increase, comScore reports. The number of mobile buyers more than doubled on Thanksgiving Day compared to a year ago, eBay notes.

The busiest buying hour on eBay was from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. PST. The top categories among consumers, by gross merchandise volume, were Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Computers & Networking, Sporting Goods, Jewelry & Watches, and Cell Phones & PDAs, eBay reports.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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