Online Black Friday retail sales top US $1b.

Kids interact with iPads at a retail store on Black Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO — Black Friday retail sales online this year topped $1 billion for the first time ever as more consumers used the Internet to do their early holiday shopping, comScore Inc said on Sunday.

Online sales jumped 26 per cent on Black Friday to $1.04 billion from sales of $816 million on the corresponding day last year, according to comScore data. was the most-visited retail website on Black Friday, and it also posted the highest year-over-year visitor growth rate among the top five retailers. Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s website was second, followed by Best Buy Co., Target Corp. and Apple Inc, comScore noted.

Sales up

Digital content and subscriptions, including e-books, digital music and video, was the fastest-growing retail category online, with sales up 29 per cent versus Black Friday last year, according to comScore data.

E-commerce accounts for less than 10 per cent of consumer spending in the United States. However, it is growing much faster than bricks-and-mortar retail as shoppers are lured by low prices, convenience, faster shipping and wide selection.

ShopperTrak, which counts foot traffic in physical retail stores, estimated Black Friday sales at $11.2 billion, down 1.8 per cent from the same day last year.

“Online has been around 9 per cent of total holiday sales, but it could breach 10 per cent for the first time this season,” said Scot Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor, which helps merchants sell more on websites, including and

ComScore expects online retail spending to rise 17 per cent to $43.4 billion through the whole holiday season. That is above the 15 per cent increase last season and ahead of the retail industry’s expectation for a 4.1 per cent increase in overall spending this holiday. (Reuters)

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