Although most people think of long lines of shoppers outside stores awaiting 5 a.m. openings and deeply discounted merchandise, the lines were just as impressive on the Internet.
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Amazon.com and Wal-Mart were among the websites that had some issues with traffic the day after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as Black Friday because of a boost in sales from holiday shopping that helps put a business “in the black.”
Beyond the heavy hits and page views, online proved just as profitable as the offline world.
ComScore reported that non-travel business boomed on Black Friday. Those retailers handled $434 million in sales, excluding auctions and large corporate purchases.
That represented a 42 percent increase from 2005’s holiday shopping kickoff.
“With 42 percent growth versus the same day last year, it’s clear that many consumers opted for the convenience and sanity of shopping from home in order to avoid mayhem at the malls and to take advantage of the extremely attractive deals being offered online,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks.
“This growth figure is especially encouraging for online retailers when taking into account that much of the country saw beautiful weather on Friday.”
Some of that online activity led people to head for the brick-and-mortar stores.
ComScore’s assessment of online comparison shopping engines found plenty of virtual feet beating a path to places like ShopLocal.com, where the site experienced a triple-digit increase in visits from Tuesday through Black Friday.
Collectively, visits to comparison sites rose by 21 percent on Black Friday, when compared to the typical number of visits on a November day.
Last year, Shop.org created the myth of a Cyber Monday, to create an online equivalent of offline’s Black Friday.
Their effort gained plenty of attention, even if online sales on Cyber Monday don’t quite match the business sites will do from early to mid-December.