Black Friday online hits $648 million

Posted by Mark Raby

Everyone thinks of Black Friday as the day where hundreds of people line up outside Walmart and Best Buy, but it was the people sitting comfortably in their heated home that saw the highest amount of growth for the shopping holiday. It's a sign that leads to what could be a cataclysmic level of sales for today, the most prolific online shopping day of the year.

Today is Cyber Monday, the day when online retailers entice shoppers with special one-day deals and promotions to encourage buying away from the stores and on your computer. More than 107 million people are expected to shop online today.

That would be a record number, and would continue what has been a fantastic season for the industry so far. Between November 1 and November 26, online shopping sales were up 13% over last year. That includes Thanksgiving Day, November 25, which saw online sales at 28% above where they were in 2009, and Black Friday, which in addition to over a billion dollars at brick-and-mortar saw $648 million in sales online. That latter figure is a 9% increase.

"Although Black Friday is known for the flurry of activity occurring in brick-and-mortar retail stores, online shopping is increasingly becoming the refuge of those preferring to avoid the crowds and long lines," said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni. Comscore is the industry tracker that provided the online sales data.

Cyber Monday has grown from something that only a few people knew about to something that greets shoppers with dozens of e-mail offers when they wake up in the morning. Today could very well bring in more in cyber sales than any other single day in history.