comScore today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 27 days of the November ? December 2009 holiday season.
For the holiday season-to-date, $10.57 billion has been spent online, marking a 3-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year, according to the research firm. Black Friday (November 27) saw $595 million in online sales, making it the second heaviest online spending day to date in 2009 and representing an 11-percent increase versus Black Friday 2008.
"Black Friday, better known as a shopping bonanza in brick-and-mortar retail stores, is increasingly becoming one of the landmark days in the online holiday shopping world," said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. "The $595 million in online spending this Black Friday represents the second heaviest online spending day of the season-to-date and a double-digit increase from last year. While this acceleration in spending suggests the online holiday season may be shaping up slightly more optimistically than anticipated, it may also reflect the heavy discounting and creative promotions being put forth by retailers that now encompass the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Cyber Monday ? the traditional kick-off to the online holiday shopping season ? and the subsequent weeks will be the real test for how online retailers fare this season. That said, this is a very encouraging start."
Over the years, the online channel has become an increasingly influential driver in offline shopping behavior. Before making purchases in brick-and-mortar retail locations, consumers have become adept at doing their research beforehand. The array of sites doing round-ups of Black Friday deals are becoming more popular than ever.
comScore studied eight Black Friday deal sites for the five days ending Black Friday (Nov. 23-27) compared to the corresponding days last year, finding that BFads.net led the pack with 3.9 million unique visitors, up 4 percent versus last year. BlackFriday.info followed with 3.5 million visitors, while Black-Friday.net (up 136 percent to 2.3 million visitors) showed the fastest growth.
Some other notable findings about Black Friday deal-seeking include:
* The number of visitors to coupon sites on Black Friday grew 17 percent versus year ago to 3.3 million visitors.
* BlackFriday.info was the most visited coupon site on Black Friday with 748,000 unique visitors, followed by RetailMeNot.com (356,000 visitors) and Eversave.com (253,000).
* ShopLocal.com ranked as the most visited comparison shopping site on Black Friday with 2 million visitors, up 31 percent versus year ago.
Five retail properties surpassed four million U.S. unique visitors (i.e. four million different people) on Black Friday, with each of these properties experiencing gains versus last year. Amazon Sites was the most visited retail property on Black Friday, growing 28 percent from the corresponding shopping day a year ago, followed closely by Walmart, which grew 22 percent. Apple.com Worldwide Sites (up 39 percent), Target Corporation (up 2 percent) and Best Buy Sites (up 24 percent) rounded out the top five.