Online Sales Jumped 24% on Black Friday, 39% on Thanksgiving day

by Deepak Sharma on Saturday, November 26, 2011

IBM’s data unit Coremetrics has released its real time online retail benchmark study which shows online sales jumped 24.3% this Black Friday. This follows the growth of 39.3% increase in online sales on Thanksgiving day. Mobile traffic increased to 14.3 percent on Black Friday 2011 compared to 5.6 percent in 2010. The sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent year over year.

Record Online Thanksgiving Day Shopping Paves Way for Strong Black Friday Retail Sales, Reports IBM

U.S. shoppers took advantage of early sales this holiday driving a 39.3 percent increase in online Thanksgiving day spending while setting the stage for 24.3 percent online growth on Black Friday compared to the same period last year, according to cloud-based analytics findings by IBM.


As part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM's online retail benchmark study reveals the following trends as of 12:00 am PST:

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Strong Thanksgiving shopping carried over into Black Friday with online sales increasing 24.3 percent annually.
  • The Mobile Bargain Hunter: Black Friday witnessed the arrival of the mobile deal seeker who embraced their devices as a research tool for in-store and online bargains. Mobile traffic increased to 14.3 percent on Black Friday 2011 compared to 5.6 percent in 2010.
  • Mobile Sales: Sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent year over year.
  • The Apple Shopper: Mobile shopping was led by Apple, with the iPhone and iPad ranking one and two for consumers shopping on mobile devices (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent respectively). Android came in third at 4.1 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 10.2 percent of all online retail traffic on Black Friday.
  • The iPad Factor: Shoppers using the iPad led to more retail purchases more often per visit than other mobile devices with conversion rates reaching 4.6 percent compared to 2.8 percent for overall mobile devices.
  • Surgical Shopping Goes Mobile: Mobile shoppers demonstrated a laser focus that surpassed that of other online shoppers with a 41.3 percent bounce rate on mobile devices versus online shopping rates of 33.1 percent.
  • The Social Influence: Shoppers referred from Social Networks generated 0.53 percent of all online sales on Black Friday. Facebook led the pack, accounting for 75 percent of all traffic from social networks.
  • Social Media Chatter: Boosted by a 110 percent increase in discussion volume compared to 2010, top discussion topics on social media sites immediately before Friday showed a focus on the part of consumers to share tips on how to avoid the rush. Topics included out-of-stock concerns, waiting times and parking, and a spike in positive sentiment around Cyber-Monday sales.

"This year marked Thanksgiving's emergence as the first big spending day of the 2011 holiday season with a record number of consumers shifting their focus from turkey to tablets and the search for the best deals," said John Squire, Chief Strategy Officer, IBM Smarter Commerce. "This momentum continued into Black Friday where the big winners were those retailers that delivered a smarter commerce experience with compelling, relevant deals that people could easily access from their channel of choice."

Online Retail Categories

  • Department stores once again offered a vast array of compelling deals and promotions that caught the attention of consumers. As a result, department stores sales were up 59.0 percent from this time last year.
  • Home goods also reported a 48.8 percent increase in sales from Black Friday 2010, an indication that many consumers are shifting their attention toward the home this holiday season.
  • Apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Black Friday numbers showing an increase of 47.2 percent over 2010.
  • Health and Beauty sales were strong as consumers showed a desire to pamper themselves this year. On Black Friday, online sales were up 34.2 percent year over year.

Today's news is based on finding from the IBM Coremetrics fourth annual Black Friday Benchmark which tracks more than a million transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide. With this data IBM helps retailers better understand and respond to their customers – across the organization – improving sourcing, inventory management, marketing, sales, and services programs.

Get the detailed report here.