While Cyber Monday has been called the biggest online shopping day of the holiday season, given that the day is specifically targeted towards e-commerce consumers, the days leading up to the online event have proven to be just as successful for retailers.
According to digital measurement and analytics company comScore, Americans spent nearly $1.2 billion over the Internet on Black Friday this year – a 15 percent increase compared to last year, which saw roughly $1.04 million in online sales. Black Friday was the first billion dollar online shopping day of the 2013 holiday season and heaviest online spending day to date.
Internet sales were also quite high on Thanksgiving Day. Besides indulging in turkey and the many delicious side dishes on that day, Americans spent $766 online. This was a 21 percent increase compared to 2012, in which $633 million was spent.
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For roughly the whole month of November, there was also a three percent increase in online spending with almost $20.6 billion spent this year compared to $19.9 billion last year.
"While Black Friday – and now Thanksgiving Day – is the traditional kick-off to the brick-and-mortar holiday shopping season, both days continue to grow in importance on the online channel," comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "Clearly many consumers prefer to avoid the crowds and lines typically associated with Black Friday by shopping from the comfort of their own homes."
According to comScore's research, 66.1 million Americans opted to shop at retail stores via a desktop computer rather than physically go to the stores. That figure represents a 16 percent increase compared to 2012. Moreover, Amazon once again came out on top as the most visited online retail site on Black Friday. They were followed by eBay, Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
The leading product category for this holiday season was apparel and accessories, which represented 28 percent of online sales. Computer hardware came in second place with 19 percent, followed by consumer electronics with 7 percent, and consumer packaged goods and shipping services, both at 5 percent.
If online shopping prior to Cyber Monday continues on the upward trend in years to come, society may want to consider calling it Cyber Holiday or maybe even Cyber Weekend.
Edited by Alisen Downey