While initial figures showed flat numbers for store sales on Black Friday, the average that online shoppers spent surged an impressive 35 percent compared to last year, according to an analysis of Internet spending.
Coremetrics, a San Mateo, Calif.-based Web marketing data firm, also found that consumers are spending considerably less time browsing retailers’ sites. Its analysis suggests that they “had done their research prior to Black Friday and that they are shopping from lists.”
Coremetrics also found that:
- Browsing sessions were down by 5.4 percent
- The “bounce rate,” or number of people who left a site after viewing only one page, was up by 39.4 percent
- Page views per session declined by 30.4 percent
Nonetheless, online shoppers managed 35 percent more in the average value spent, led by apparel items, the firm said. And they bought more items per order, by 18.3 percent, compared to last year.
The higher value, combined with less time online, suggests smarter and more calculated online purchasing, said John Squire, chief strategy officer, Coremetrics.
“The healthy jump in the average amount of money people are willing to spend online this year suggests consumers have adjusted their shopping patterns to the reality of the economic downturn. They’re thriftier, they’re savvier and every one of them wants to be the best bargain hunter out there,” Squire said.
The firm’s findings are encouraging news to credit card issuers, who are still facing downbeat online shopping forecasts for the Christmas season, which kicked off on Friday. Cyber Monday, following the Thanksgiving weekend, has been heralded as one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. Some survey projections say that up to one-third fewer Christmas shoppers will use their credit cards this year, compared to 2008.
The online shopping report was much rosier than the first batch of store-based figures. Preliminary data indicates that shoppers spent $10.66 billion at stores the day after Thanksgiving. That’s only 0.5 percent more than last year. The figures were compiled by ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago research firm that reviews sales at more than 50,000 stores.
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