Sofa surfers serve up Black Friday bonanza

Sofa surfers serve up Black Friday bonanza

Data from IBM and PayPal shows a sharp rise in online and mobile shopping over the US Thanksgiving holiday, as savvy shoppers switched on their iPads and smart phones to avoid the crowded shopping malls on Black Friday.

IBM analytics recorded a 39.3% 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.

Big Blue says mobile traffic increased to 14.3% on Black Friday 2011 compared to 5.6% in 2010, with Apple-equipped sofa surfers leading the charge. Collectively iPhone and iPad consumers accounted for 10.2% of all online retail traffic on Black Friday.

PayPal also saw more shoppers than ever skipping the lines as its Black Friday global mobile payment volume increased six-fold (516%) compared to last year. Paypal says payment volume on the day was more than double the average Friday spend, with a four-fold increase in the number of customers shopping through mobile on Black Friday 2011 compared to last year.

With Black Friday sales exceeding all expectations, attention in the US is now turned to the traditional e-commerce spectacular, Cyber Monday, as retailers dig deeper still to entice bargain hunters with more discounted deals. According to comScore data, online spending in November is already up 14% over last year, with the group forecasting a 15% increase overall for the last two months of the year.

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