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Black Friday Bump in Sales Is Real

Some people might be skeptical about the hype around Black Friday given the fact it feels more like a week or more of sales rather than one day. ComScore data shows that shoppers continue to like shopping on the day after Thanksgiving – and on Thanksgiving Day as well.

ComScore found US desktop retail ecommerce spending for the first 27 days of the November-December 2015 holiday season was up 5% over the corresponding days last year – to $23.4 billion.

Thanksgiving Day saw a 9% gain to $1.1 billion in spending to surpass the billion dollar threshold for the second consecutive year and marking the first day of the 2015 season to reach that level.

And Black Friday (November 27) followed with an even stronger spending day with $1.66 billion in desktop online sales, up 10% from Black Friday 2014.

Meanwhile personalization provider Monetate said consumers were taking advantage of the extended Cyber Month deal season rather than being confined to a single day. It based its figures on analysis of 34 million online shopping sessions in the U.S. across major retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy, QVC, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Monetate’s latest missive published Sunday morning said, “On the heels of online spending increasing 13% on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday saw consumers continuing to buy online as spending jumped 5% over last year. Online shopping activity was up 18% but consumers still averaged the biggest purchases of the week on Thanksgiving followed by Black Friday.”

Will online shoppers embrace Cyber Monday as they have in the past? ComScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni was optimistic. “Looking ahead to Cyber Monday, we expect to see upwards of $2.5 billion in desktop spending as people return to their work computers after Thanksgiving weekend and use some of their down time to continue their holiday gift buying, but without other family members looking over their shoulders.”

What’s popular? Adobe said the five best-selling electronic products on Black Friday were Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPad Air 2, Microsoft Xbox One, Apple iPad Mini, and Sony PS4. The five most popular toys were Lego Dimensions, Shopkin dolls, Lego Star Wars, Barbie Dream House, and Lego Friends. And it revealed that online doorbuster deals – products with limited quantity and available for a limited time – accounted for 40% of all online sales. (Adobe’s report is based on aggregated and anonymous data from 150 million visits to 4,500 retail websites.)

eBay said its top-4 Daily Deals on Black Friday in the US were gift cards. It also published a list of the top-selling items in electronics, toys & games, and fashion on Black Friday, available on the eBay blog.

ComScore revealed its forecast for the November-December 2015 holiday season last week, saying it expects a 14% increase in desktop and mobile sales.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.