IBM: Black Friday Online Retail Spending Up 24.3 Percent

Thanksgiving brought record online retail sales for the holiday, with spending up 39.3 percent over Thanksgiving 2010. And today, IBM Coremetrics data shows a 24.3 percent growth in online sales on Black Friday compared to the same period last year.

Mobile traffic on Black Friday was 14.3 percent of all retail traffic compared to 5.6 percent in 2010. Sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent year over year. As we saw with PayPal stats from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, mobile shopping volume is increasing by over 500 percent this year.

Mobile shopping was actually led by Apple devices, 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.

As predicted by eBay, Google and others, tablets were a major platform for shoppers this year. IBM says that 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.

IBM took a deep dive on conversion rates of mobile shoppers vs. online shoppers and traffic from social networks. 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. 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.

There was actually a 110 percent increase in discussion volume around Black Friday sales on social networks compared to 2010, with conversations centralized around sharing 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.

Department stores sales were up 59.0 percent from this time last year, mainly because of the strong deals and online shipping incentives. Home goods also reported a 48.8 percent increase in sales from Black Friday 2010 and apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Black Friday numbers showing an increase of 47.2 percent over 2010. Health and Beauty online sales were up 34.2 percent year over year.

eBay Mobile announced that shoppers in the U.S. purchased nearly two and a half times as many items via eBay Mobile this Black Friday when compared to 2010. PayPal Mobile announced a six-fold (516 percent) increase in global mobile payment volume compared to Black Friday 2010. There was a more than four-fold (371 percent) increase in the number of customers shopping through PayPal mobile on Black Friday compared to last year. And PayPal saw global mobile payment volume more than double (148 percent) compared to an average Friday.

GSI Commerce announced a three-fold (254%) increase in U.S. mobile sales this Black Friday compared to 2010. And searches through the platform increased 692 percent over Black Friday 2010.

Considering the strength of online sales so far, it should be interesting to see if Cyber Monday, which tends to be a peak day for online retail, can surpass the sales from Black Friday.