Black Friday online sales surpass $1B, setting new single-day record

$13 billion in online sales since Nov. 1


The holiday season is the year's biggest shopping period, and that has never been more true than in 2012.

comScore reported Sunday that since Nov. 1, online sales have been responsible for $13.7 billion in spending, with Black Friday raking in a record-setting $1.042 billion.

During these first 23 days of the holiday shopping season, which runs through the end of December, online sales increased 16 percent over the same time in 2011.

Black Friday's astounding sales increase was even more impressive, and surpassed Black Friday 2011's numbers by 26 percent.

Even Thanksgiving recorded an immense increase over the same holiday in 2011, earning $633 million in sales, which was a 32 percent upgrade over last year.

Amazon reigns supreme

The biggest reason 2012 is seeing such increases over 2011's numbers can be found in the number of shoppers moving to online retail outlets for their needs.

More than 57 million shoppers utilized online retailers on Black Friday, which represented an 18 percent increase over 2011.

There was also a 1.8 percent drop-off in the number of consumers who visited brick and mortar stores as compared to last year.

Amazon was the number one most-visited online store, with Walmart and Best Buy pulling into the second and third spots respectively.

Target and Apple rounded out the top five online retailers, according to comScore, though the e-commerce analyst didn't indicate concrete numbers to bolster its findings.

Buyer's market

Digital content and subscriptions saw the biggest increase in sales according to comScore, and improved over the 2011 numbers by 29 percent.

Toy purchases and packaged goods also saw steady growth, with 27 percent and 26 percent increases respectively.

Both video game consoles/accessories and electronics had their sales increased by 18 percent from where they were a year ago.

However, consumers spent much more on apparel during Black Friday, and boosted the category to the No. 1 overall spot for the single-day.

In years past, computer hardware typically leads the Black Friday chart (it fell to No. 2 slot this year), but comScore indicated apparel was responsible for more than 25 percent of all sales during the busiest shopping day of the year.

There's no indicator from comScore as to why 2012 is outpacing 2011 so drastically, but the increase in online shoppers isn't bad for all businesses - just the ones without online shopping options.

TechRadar asked comScore for a possible reason behind the record numbers, and will update this story when and if we hear back from the company.