Black Friday yields $595m online PDF Print E-mail
Online sales increase 11% as US holiday shoppers spend $595 million on Black Friday.

Holiday shoppers in the US spent $595 million online on Black Friday, up 11% from last year, with Amazon.com and Walmart.com the most visited sites, according to analytics firm comScore.

Visits to Amazon.com rose 28%, followed by the online unit of Wal-Mart Stores, which grew 22%. The companies have already engaged in a heated battle for market share this holiday, with each lowering prices on select merchandise.

Since 1 November, $10.57 billion has been spent online in the US for the holiday season, representing a 3% gain, according to comScore.

"This is a very encouraging start," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement.

Earlier this week, the company said it expects total holiday e-commerce spending to rise 3% to $28.8 billion from $28 billion in the previous season when shoppers sharply curtailed spending amid the global financial meltdown.

The robust Web sales on Black Friday speak to retailers` attractive discounts online even on a weekend known for driving shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores, said Fulgoni.

"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," said Fulgoni.

Cyber Monday is the day considered the kick-off to the online spending season, when consumers return to work from the long Thanksgiving weekend and use their employers` fast Internet connections to purchase online.

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