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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 30, 2009

Black Friday recap: Both spending, traffic up over 2008

Despite bad weather in some areas and a still-struggling economy everywhere, shoppers were ready to spend on Black Friday. Most metrics sites agree that online shopping traffic was up over 2008, even if the spend didn't top 2009's spend for the single busiest shopping day of the year.

by Kristina Knight

According to Hitwise numbers, was the ">most-visited site for Black Friday 2009 with just over 13% of the ecommerce traffic hitting Amazon throughout the day Friday. Wal-Mart was the second most visited site according to Hitwise, capturing just over 11% of shopping traffic., and rounded out the top five most visited ecommerce hubs on Friday.

comScore had slightly different numbers as far as most visited hubs, but did find that shoppers were definitely in a spending mood as the holiday season began. According to comScore ">$595 million was spent online on Friday, making Black Friday 2009 the second heaviest shopping day of the year so far; that is also an 11% increase in spending over 2008. So far, the holiday season has seen more than $10.5 billion spent.

comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni said, "While this acceleration in spending suggests the online holiday season may be shaping up slightly more optimistically than anticipated, it may also reflect the heavy discounting and creative promotions being put forth by retailers that now encompass the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Cyber Monday - the traditional kick-off to the online holiday shopping season - and the subsequent weeks will be the real test for how online retailers fare this season. That said, this is a very encouraging start."

Researchers for comScore found Amazon and WalMart were the most visited stores, but then placed (worldwide sites) as the third most trafficked online hub, based on the increase in traffic for all three stores over 2008 numbers.

Prior to the Black Friday bonanza, comScore predicted that the overall ecommerce holiday spend would ">increase by 3% over 2008 based on early shopping numbers reported. This could be a big deal for etailers who have seen about a 1% decrease to-date from online shoppers. From January to October only $100.7 billion was spent online compared to the $102.1 billion spent during the corresponding months in 2008.

"We are finally forecasting a return to positive growth at a rate of 3 percent for the 2009 holiday season," said Fulgoni. "However, we need to realize that this year's expected growth rate reflects the rapid deceleration in online consumer spending that occurred during the last two months of 2008, making comparisons to the year ago time period more favorable for the current holiday season."

Online deals and promotion are expected to go a long way this holiday season in helping etailers and brands get back on track.

Tags: Black Friday, comScore, ecommerce, etailers, Hitwise, holiday forecast, holiday spend, online shopping

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