By Lena Rao
As we heard on Saturday, IBM reported a 24 percent increase in online sales for Black Friday this year. ComScore is announcing even stronger results for e-commerce, with Black Friday seeing $816 million in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2011 and representing a 26 percent increase versus Black Friday 2010 ($648 million spent).
That’s an impressive jump considering the 2009 to 2010 increase in Black Friday spending was only 9 percent. Thanksgiving Day saw an 18 percent increase in online spending to $479 million. U.S. consumers have spent $12.7 billion already in the first 25 days of the November to December 2011 holiday season, up 15 percent from the corresponding days last year.
comScore says fifty million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, which is an increase of 35 percent versus year ago. Each of the top five retail sites achieved double-digit gains in visitors vs. last year, led by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Walmart (NYSE:WMT) ranked second, followed by Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Experian Hitwise also reported similar traffic results, revealing that US total visits to the top 500 retail sites increased 2% on Black Friday 2011 compared to 2010. Amazon was the top retail site receiving traffic on Black Friday for the 7th year in a row, followed by Wal-mart and Best Buy, respectively.
Consumers were also increasingly looking online for information about offline and web-based Black Friday deals. For example, Black Friday deals site bfads.net saw 3.9 million unique visitors, up 51 percent versus last year. TheBlackFriday.com followed with 3.2 million visitors, up 137 percent from last year.
Of course, Cyber Monday is today and it could be the peak day for the entire holiday shopping season. Last year, Cyber Monday was the heaviest day of online spending ever, with sales exceeding $1 billion. Considering the peaks we are already seeing with online spending this season, today could bring record sales for e-retailers.