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The most digital Christmas ever


Online shopping surged 26% on Black Friday to surpass $1 billion for the first time, according to the digital measurement firm comScore.

Slightly more than 57 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, representing an increase of 18% versus year ago, with the five most visited sites including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple. Including the slightly more than $1 billion comScore said was spent online on Black Friday total online sales during the first 23 days of November reached $13.7 billion. That is a 16% increase compared to the same time frame the prior year. Online sales on Thanksgiving Day surged 32% to $633 million, according to comScore.

"Despite the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world, we continue to see this shopping day become more and more prominent in the e-commerce channel – particularly among those who prefer to avoid crowds at the stores," said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. "With Black Friday online sales up 26% and surpassing $1 billion for the first time, coupled with early reports indicating that Black Friday sales in retail stores were down 1.8%, we can now confidently call it a multi-channelmarketing phenomenon. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving Day, which has historically been a lighter online holiday shopping day, continues to gain steam and grew well ahead of the current pace as more consumers opted to kick off their holiday shopping immediately after the big meal to take advantage of aggressive retailer promotions.

Fulgoni said Cyber Monday sales should reached approximately $1.5 billion with the company’s 2012 holiday season forecast calling for November through December sales to increase 17% to $43.4 billion. That rate of growth is faster than last year’s 15% increase.

"The strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, in addition to a maximum 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, provide the basis for what we view as a fairly optimistic outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season," Fulgoni said.

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