RealTime IT News

E-Commerce Makes Hay on Black Friday

Away from the pre-dawn shuffle toward the big-box stores and the mall's frenetic crush, e-commerce reaped a record-breaking harvest during Black Friday.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings' Holiday eShopping Index increased 12 percent from home on the day after Thanksgiving.

That's a unique audience of 19.2 million across more than 120 representative online retailers, compared with 17.2 million on Black Friday last year.

Internet auctions giant eBay led the top online shopping destinations on Black Friday with 7.5 million unique visitors. Amazon and Wal-Mart Stores followed with 3.4 million and 3.2 million unique visitors, respectively.

Media metrics firm comScore said the high unique audience numbers led to high revenues for e-commerce sites, as well.

ComScore reports that the first 24 days of November had already reached $8.31 billion, a 23-percent increase over last year, according to its data on consumer online non-travel spending at U.S. sites.

But Black Friday brought an even bigger jump, comScore said, with $434 million spent, up 42 percent over last year.

That Black Friday bump was evident across e-commerce, but week-over-week growth was particularly strong for consumer electronics, Nielsen//NetRatings said.

That product category increased 211 percent in unique audience from Nov. 17 to Nov. 24.

And some are even saying that last Friday won't be the biggest e-commerce day of the year.

According to Web research firm CoreMetrics, today, often called "Cyber Monday," will see the highest traffic this season and next Monday, Dec. 4, will yield the most sales for Internet commerce.

Given the good numbers, CoreMetrics predicts that the 2006 overall e-commerce holiday retail sales will increase 16 percent over last year's holiday season.

And all of it without a mall or a big box store in site. Just you and your quiet cup of coffee.