Hitwise: Visits To Black Friday Sites Up 18 Percent, Searches Up 31 Percent From Last Year

All signs point to this holiday season being a prosperous one for retailers. Hitwise is reporting that searches around Black Friday are up 31%, and the share of visits to Black Friday websites are up 18% from last year during the same time.

Hitwise’s data also shows that more women than men are visiting the Black Friday websites with visits split 59% female and 41% male and visitors to Black Friday sites tend to be younger with 59% of visitors under the age of 35.

In terms of the retailers who are receiving visits from interested consumers, Walmart was top retail site receiving traffic from Black Friday sites for last week. Target was top retail site receiving traffic from Black Friday searches for last week and Walmart takes the top spot for searches this week.

Interestingly, referrals from Facebook.com and Twitter.com to Black Friday sites are up 36% in 2010 vs. 2009, indicating that more consumers and retailers are looking to social media to spread information about deals. In terms of emails about Black Friday deals Hitwise is reporting that email marketing volume is up 23% in 2010 vs. 2009; with Black Friday emails hitting consumer inboxes as early as Oct. 1 of this year.

While we don’t know how profitable Black Friday will be for retailers, an increase in searches and traffic shows that consumers could be pulling out the credit card more often this holiday season. Yesterday, comScore forecasted that online holiday spending would increase by 11 percent to $32.4 billion.

You can check out our Black Friday survival guide here.