Black Friday online spending tops $1 billion for the first time ever

By on November 26, 2012, 11:00 AM

This holiday season was expected to be the largest yet in terms of online spending and thus far, consumers haven’t disappointed. Black Friday e-commerce numbers have been tallied and once again, a new spending record has been set.

Shoppers collectively shelled out more than $1 billion in online spending last Friday, according to comScore. To be more precise, the research firm says US retail spending hit $1.042 billion, good for a 26 percent increase over last year. Amazon was the top online destination followed by Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple.

$633 million was spent on Thanksgiving Day, representing a 32 percent year-over-year increase. It would appear that launching sales campaigns on Thanksgiving Day certainly paid off for retailers, or at least those that sell goods online.

A quick check of the entire holiday season to date reveals consumers have spent $13.7 billion on gifts thus far. This is right in line with comScore’s forecast, representing a 16 percent increase compared with the same time period in 2011.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni says online spending is up largely due to the fact that many consumers want to avoid crowds at the stores. All of this, he says, is despite the whirlwind of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world.

While it’s all good news for online retailers, physical stores are continuing to feel the pressure from their Internet competition. Early reports suggest that Black Friday sales in retail stores were down 1.8 percent over last year.

Next up on the docket is Cyber Monday, a day that is once again expected to set online spending records. It is believed that online spending could hit $1.5 billion or higher today.




User Comments: 6

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Tygerstrike said:

Im a bit torn over the whole internet shopping. As a retail manager the internet offers customers the opportunity to make some nice purchases. However, it is also slowly killing the brick and mortar stores. Ppl expect the same prices in stores that they see online. I have had to explain many times to many customers the difference between online and a physical store. This ends up killing businesses of all sizes. Eventually its going to get to the point where ppl just dont shop in a store anymore. Oh sure, the random item that is needed immediatly will still be needed. But the dream is dead, or atleast on life support. No more can a citizen just wake up and decide to open a shop and try to make a living. Or raise a family. Now we have to contend with massive online shops that offer everything cheaper because they just dont have the overhead. I know many ppl will attempt to defend online shopping, but lets face it. Where will ppl work when the businesses that they themselves have helped kill go out of business? How will ppl support online shopping when there are no jobs to make money off of?

Guest said:

That is phase 1, phase 2 is no one can sell on the internet since there is amazon or newegg.

People just forget/don't care than in the economy there isn't just consumers, the consumers are the owners, workers, etc. and the people arround them. Without them, there are no consumers.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Where will ppl work when the businesses that they themselves have helped kill go out of business? How will ppl support online shopping when there are no jobs to make money off of?
I hope you don't think working in a "brick and mortar" store is the only profession available for supporting a family.

The bit about Internet shopping not having over-head, try telling these large warehouse distributors they don't have over-head. What makes them cheaper is the fact that they are not massively storing thousands of items for everyone to basically window shop. Storing items on a shelf that does not sell is what creates massive over-head. This is where Internet shopping has its advantages. What doesn't sell in one region may sell very quickly in another region, which in return minimizes over-head per item being sold.

If looking at a 20 to 30 inch computer monitor is the new definition of window shopping, I'm all for reducing over-head and making the planet a bit greener. Shopping on-line also gives better insight as to what is being purchased compared to talking to a salesman that would sell a rotten tomato to their grandmother. In a sense you don't know exactly what you are buying when you walk into a store looking for something you know little about.

Tygerstrike said:

@Cliff

you are correct that there are more then brick and mortar stores. But, go around your own town and take a look at the businesses. How many of them are retail outfits? I think you might be surprised.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Newegg feedback is from consumers that don't care if you buy it or not, I found this very helpful.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

But the dream is dead, or atleast on life support. No more can a citizen just wake up and decide to open a shop and try to make a living. Or raise a family . . . Where will ppl work when the businesses that they themselves have helped kill go out of business? How will ppl support online shopping when there are no jobs to make money off of?

This is more than a little bit myopic. The growth of online retailing will not destroy brick and mortar stores or entrepreneurism, although it will probably shrink the number of stores that deal primarily in luxury goods. Secondly, there are more job opportunities than simply retail. As the market shifts, people will have to adapt their skill sets to match the conditions, as has always been the case. This means selling services or acquiring other profitable skill sets (...related to services).

The people who really need to watch out are the online retailers themselves. If their price advantage ever disappears or there's a major fiasco involving the underlying infrastructure, they'll be hit hard. For instance, if there's a major security breach with electronic transactions (and there will be), people will pull their funds from the online market faster than a politician can change stories.

The real question isn't how big of a threat online retailing poses to consumers and physical retailers, it's how long will the Cinderella story last?

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