On Black Friday (November 23), myriad holiday shoppers avoided the crowds at brick-and-mortar stores in favor of their Web browsers. Some 57.3 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, up 18% from the same day in 2011, according to data from comScore.
Online sales reached $1.042 billion on Black Friday, up 26% from the same day in 2011, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012.
Overall, US retail e-commerce spending for the first 23 days of the November-December 2012 holiday season reached $13.7 billion, up 16% over the corresponding days in 2011.
Thanksgiving Day (November 22), though traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, recorded a strong 32% increase year over year, to $633 million in 2012.
Top Product Categories for Holiday Season-to-Date
The rapid adoption of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers continues to drive demand for digital books, audio, and video content.
For the holiday season-to-date, the top-growing online retail product category is Digital Content and Subscriptions, up 29% year over year. Toys are also performing well online thus far with a gain of 27%, followed by Consumer Packaged Goods (up 23%), Video Game Consoles and Accessories (up 18%), and Consumer Electronics (up 18%).
The Apparel and Accessories category had a very strong Black Friday to rank as the No. 1 category for online spending on that day, accounting for more than one in four dollars spent. The category has historically ranked No. 2 behind Computer Hardware, as it did on Black Friday 2011.
Amazon Ranks No. 1 Among Online Retailers on Black Friday
Amazon ranked as the most visited online retail site on Black Friday while also posting the highest year-over-year visitor growth rate among the top five retailers.