Black Friday Cyber Sales Up A Mere One Percent

Black Friday (Nov. 28) E-Commerce sales hit $534 million, reflecting a one percent increase from last year's Black Friday, ComScore reported Sunday (Nov. 30).

"Early reports suggest that Black Friday sales in retail stores were slightly better than anticipated in this depressed retail climate, and that performance apparently extended to the online channel, which saw sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday combined increase 2 percent versus a year ago," said ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. "It's probable that on Black Friday consumers responded positively to the very aggressive promotions and discounts being offered in retail stores, so it will be important to see how they respond to similarly attractive deals being offered online on Cyber Monday, the traditional kick-off to the online holiday shopping season."

There's not that much significance to the stats from that single day, mostly because the bulk of E-Commerce shopping will happen later in the season, most likely somewhere from Dec. 12 through Dec. 22. Also, the economic pressures will push larger purchases much later in that cycle, as consumers hope for even better bargains and retailers get more desperate as the "shopping days 'till Christmas" dwindle into the single digits.

But there are still some interesting takeaways. Black Friday can give a hint of what the overall purchasing patterns will look like, which could be scary.

For example, ComScore found some interesting trends in the times of day for E-Commerce purchases.

"Evidently, one of the benefits of avoiding the Black Friday crush at retail stores and opting to shop online is not having to wake up at the crack of dawn," said a ComScrore statement. "The early morning rush online—between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 AM—accounted for just 11 percent of the day's total online retail sales, while the period after 8:00 AM saw 84 percent of online sales take place. The 12:00 to 4:00 PM segment represented the highest share of Black Friday online sales (24 percent), with the hour of 12:00 to 1:00 PM being the heaviest individual hour of spending with 8 percent of sales."