In a report published Sunday, digital analytics company COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) reported that this year's Black Friday online sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time. ComScore, highly regarded as a leader in measuring the digital world, published a report detailing the U.S. retail e-commerce spending for the first 23 days of the November – December 2012 holiday season.
According to the report, there was a 26 percent increase in the online sales year-over-year for Black Friday, as consumers opted for the online platform to do their early holidays shopping. Since the beginning of the holiday season, $13.7 billion has been spent in online purchases, which is a 16 percent increase year-over-year. Moreover, Thanksgiving day (November 22), which is characteristic of light online activity in terms of sales, saw a 32 percent increase in sales to $633 million.
COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) chairman, Gian Fulgoni said, “Despite the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world, we continue to see this shopping day become more and more prominent in the e-commerce channel – particularly among those who prefer to avoid crowds at the stores,” and added, “with Black Friday online sales up 26 percent and surpassing $1 billion for the first time, coupled with early reports indicating that Black Friday sales in retail stores were down 1.8 percent, we can now confidently call it a multi-channel marketing phenomenon".
Fulgoni predicted that Cyber Monday, (Today) will log at least $1.5 billion worth of online sales as it is historically the heaviest online shopping day.
Meanwhile, Thanksgiving Day, which has historically, been a lighter online holiday shopping day – continues to gain steam and grew well ahead of the current pace as more consumers opted to kick off their holiday shopping immediately after the big meal to take advantage of aggressive retailer promotions. "With Thanksgiving now behind us and most consumers returning to work tomorrow, we can look forward with anticipation to Cyber Monday, Fulgoni said.
The report also analyzed the top online retail stores in terms of Black Friday sales. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) was at the top with an 18 percent increase from last year and was also, the most visited site, on the day. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) summed up the top five list accordingly.
In terms of product categories, Digital Content & Subscriptions registered the highest growth rate from last year with 29 percent growth since the beginning of the holiday season to date, while Toys and Consumer Packaged goods followed with 27 percent and 23 percent respectively. Video Game Consoles & Accessories and Consumer Electronics were tied at 18%.
Other analysis also indicated that the Apparels and Accessories category recorded the highest Black Friday sales, accounting for more than 25 percent of the amount spent during the day.