* Black Friday online sales up 26 pct vs 2011-comScore
* Amazon.com the most-visited Black Friday retail
* Digital goods were the fastest-growing category
* Cyber Monday online sales may reach $1.5 bln-comScore
By Alistair Barr
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 25 Black Friday retail sales
online this year topped $1 billion for the first time ever as
more consumers used the Internet do their early holiday
shopping, comScore Inc said on Sunday.
Online sales jumped 26 percent on Black Friday to $1.04
billion from sales of $816 million on the corresponding day last
year, according to comScore data.
Amazon.com was the most-visited retail website on
Black Friday, and it also posted the highest year-over-year
visitor growth rate among the top five retailers. Wal-Mart
Stores Inc's website was second, followed by sites run
by Best Buy Co., Target Corp. and Apple Inc
, comScore noted.
Digital content and subscriptions, including e-books,
digital music and video, was the fastest-growing retail category
online, with sales up 29 percent versus Black Friday last year,
according to comScore data.
E-commerce accounts for less than 10 percent of consumer
spending in the United States. However, it is growing much
faster than bricks-and-mortar retail as shoppers are lured by
low prices, convenience, faster shipping and wide selection.
ShopperTrak, which counts foot traffic in physical retail
stores, estimated Black Friday sales at $11.2 billion, down 1.8
percent from the same day last year. [ID: nL1E8MO1P4]
"Online has been around 9 percent of total holiday sales,
but it could breach 10 percent for the first time this season,"
said Scot Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor, which helps
merchants sell more on websites, including Amazon.com and
ComScore expects online retail spending to rise 17 percent
to $43.4 billion through the whole holiday season. That is above
the 15 percent increase last season and ahead of the retail
industry's expectation for a 4.1 percent increase in overall
spending this holiday.
CYBER MONDAY OUTLOOK
It's not clear yet whether strong Black Friday sales online
will weaken growth on Cyber Monday, which has been the biggest
e-commerce day in the United States in recent years.
"Cyber Monday will be a big day, but not as much of a big
day as it has been in the past," said Mia Shernoff, executive
vice president for Chase Paymentech, a payment-processing unit
of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.. "Faster broadband Internet
connections in the office used to drive this. But now many
consumers have faster connections at home and smart phones and
tablets - they don't have to wait."
ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said Cyber Monday online
sales may reach $1.5 billion this year. That would be up 20
percent from the corresponding day last year - slower
year-over-year growth than Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
More than 129 million Americans plan to shop online on Cyber
Monday, up from almost 123 million on the same day last year,
according to a survey conducted in recent days for the National
The group also expects 85 percent of retailers to have a
special promotion for Cyber Monday.
Amazon, the world's largest Internet retailer, will launch
Cyber Monday deals at midnight on Sunday. The company is
planning a limited time Cyber Monday promotion for its 7 inch
Kindle Fire tablet, offering it at $129 instead of the regular
$159, a spokesman said on Sunday.
MOBILE SHOPPING GROWTH
A big source of online shopping growth this holiday season
has come from increased use of smart phones, which let people
buy online even when they are in physical stores, and by tablet
computers, which have spurred more online shopping in the
evenings, Wingo and others said.
Mobile devices accounted for 26 percent of visits to retail
websites and 16 percent of purchases on Black Friday. That was
up from 18.1 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, on the same
day last year, according to International Business Machines
, which analyzes online traffic and transactions from 500
More than 20 million shoppers plan to use mobile devices on
Cyber Monday, up from 17.8 million a year ago, the NRF said.
AMAZON AND eBAY
Amazon and eBay benefit from increased use of mobile devices
for shopping because they are consistently the top two online
retail destinations for mobile users, ChannelAdvisor's Wingo
Amazon.com was the most visited retail website on Black
Friday, with more than 28 million visits, according to Hitwise.
Worth noting: eBay runs one of the largest online
marketplaces, rather than being a retailer, so its online
traffic was not reported by Hitwise. However, eBay said the
volume of mobile transactions on its marketplace jumped 153
percent on Black Friday from a year earlier.
ChannelAdvisor clients' same-store sales on Amazon.com shot
up 43 percent on Saturday, compared with a year earlier. Last
year's year-over-year growth was 49 percent on the Saturday
following Black Friday.
Client same-store sales on eBay's marketplace rose 36
percent on Saturday, compared with a year earlier. Last year's
year-over-year growth was 12 percent, according to
While mobile devices may be good for sales, they may not be
so good for retail profit margins. Smart phones give shoppers
real-time access to product prices online, potentially
exacerbating the usual holiday discounting and price wars.
Black Friday online transactions jumped almost 30 percent,
but the average ticket price was down more than 11 percent,
according to Chase Paymentech, which reports data from its 50
largest e-commerce merchant clients.
"It's driving prices down," Shernoff said. "Consumers are
checking prices in stores and showing the retailer, and the
retailer will succumb to the lowest price online so they don't
lose the consumer."