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eCommerce Sales Reach New Heights to Start this Holiday Shopping Season

According to data from ComScore U.S. eCommerce sales from home and work computers grew by double digit percentage gains in 2013 on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

From the first of November through Cyber Monday, the first 32 days of this year’s holiday shopping season, online sales from home and work computers in the United States reached nearly $24 billion, an eight percent increase from 2012. This included 15 percent growth for online sales on Black Friday and an 18 percent increase on Cyber Monday, reaching approximately $1.2 and $1.7 billion, respectively. In addition to each of these days exceeding one billion dollars in online sales, Cyber Monday set the new record for the largest eCommerce spending day in U.S. history.

This year the largest growth in eCommerce was on the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Over this weekend computer-based eCommerce sales in the U.S. increased by 34 percent and reached $1.6 billion in volume, not much less than the dollar value of sales on Cyber Monday. As shown in the chart below, online sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday have increased every year since 2005 while the percentage of Black Friday sales that occur online has increased each year since 2008.

For online retailers as well as brick-and-mortar stores, Black Friday sales became a little more spread out as stores offered promotions beginning Thanksgiving Day. According to ComScore, online sales grew by 21 percent from Thanksgiving last year to reach $766 million in 2013. Meanwhile brick-and-mortar retail sales for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose 2.3 percent from 2012 to $12.3 billion, according to estimates from ShopperTrak. The larger increase in the percentage of Black Friday sales that occurred online in 2013, from 9.3 to 12.3 percent, is partly the result of in-store retail sales on Thanksgiving cannibalizing sales on Black Friday. Brick-and-mortar retail sales on Black Friday fell 13.2 percent from 2012 whereas eCommerce volumes rose on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The percentage of sales that occurred online for both days was 9.7 percent in 2013, as opposed over 12 percent for just Black Friday, and more comparable to the 9.3 percent of Black Friday sales that occurred online in 2012.

So far 2013 has shown an increase in eCommerce spending overall and relative to brick-and-mortar sales. This not only includes growth of eCommerce retails on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but also the increase in volume for the extended holiday weekend beginning on Thanksgiving. While both online and in-store retail has increased so far in 2013, eCommerce has seen the greater gains. Forecasts for brick-and-mortar retail sales volume for the entire 2013 holiday season predict a 2.4 percent increase, which would be the smallest increase since 2009.

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