Online Takes 1/3rd of Weekend Holiday Shopping

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It’s been a Merry early Christmas for online sales, which accounted for a third of the shopping over the Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

Specifically, 33.6 percent of the 212 million people who shopped this weekend, made online purchases, in the highest share for online sales to date.

On Black Friday alone sales were up 9 percent over the same day last year. Amazon was a clear winner with a 25 percent jump in sales the day after Thanksgiving compared to last year, said comScore.

Four retailers surpassed 4 million U.S. unique visitors on Black Friday (not counting auction sites like eBay); and the sites Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy had mixed results. While Amazon’s online Black Friday sales were up by 25 percent, Best Buy’s sales were up by only 1 percent, Target’s by 9 percent and Walmart’s were actually down by 1 percent compared to Black Friday in 2009.

“Although Black Friday is known for the flurry of activity occurring in brick-and-mortar retail stores, online shopping is increasingly becoming the refuge of those preferring to avoid the crowds and long lines,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “Interestingly, we are also seeing consumers beginning to buy online in a more meaningful way on Thanksgiving Day, which has historically seen low buying activity.”

A total of $648 million was spent in online sales on Black Friday.

Also the number of visitors to coupon sites on Black Friday grew 4 percent over last year to 3.6 million visitors.

A survey by the Consumer Electronics Assoc. found that 58 of those who went shopping on Friday bought a consumer electronics product making it the second most popular category after clothing. The figure is up from 54 percent of shoppers last year.

The average consumer will spend $232 on CE products this year, up five percent from last year and the highest figure in the history of the study.

Portable mp3 players, video gaming products and computers including tablets were hot items on Black Friday. The CEA said laptops, iPads and eReaders will be among the most wanted electronics gifts this year while video game systems, mp3 players and notebook computers will be the electronics consumers are most likely to give this holiday season.

Source: The New York Times, comScore

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