Black Friday Sees $534 Million in E-Commerce Spending, Up 1 Percent Versus Year Ago

Upcoming ‘Cyber Monday’ Represents Strong Historical Bellwether for Total Holiday Season E-Commerce Spending

RESTON, VA, November 30, 2008 – Comscore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported its tracking of holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 28 days of the November – December 2008 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $10.41 billion has been spent online, marking a 4-percent decline versus the corresponding days last year, while Black Friday saw $534 million in online spending, up 1 percent. For the combination of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, online sales were up 2 percent relative to last year.

2008 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2007
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.

Holiday Season to Date

Millions ($)



Pct Change

November 1 – 28




November 27 (Thanksgiving Day)




November 28 (“Black Friday”)




*Corresponding days based on equivalent shopping days relative to Thanksgiving (October 27 thru November 23, 2007)

“Early reports suggest that Black Friday sales in retail stores were slightly better than anticipated in this depressed retail climate, and that performance apparently extended to the online channel, which saw sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday combined increase 2 percent versus year ago,” said Comscore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “It’s probable that on Black Friday consumers responded positively to the very aggressive promotions and discounts being offered in retail stores, so it will be important to see how they respond to similarly attractive deals being offered online on Cyber Monday, the traditional kick-off to the online holiday shopping season.”

Most Online Shoppers Sleep in on Black Friday

Evidently, one of the benefits of avoiding the Black Friday crush at retail stores and opting to shop online is not having to wake up at the crack of dawn. The early morning rush online – between the hours of 4:00-8:00 AM – accounted for just 11 percent of the day’s total online retail sales, while the period after 8:00 AM saw 84 percent of online sales take place. The 12:00- 4:00 PM segment represented the highest share of Black Friday online sales (24 percent), with the hour of 12:00-1:00 PM being the heaviest individual hour of spending with 8 percent of sales.

Black Friday Online Spending by Time of Day
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.

Black Friday - Time of Day

Share of Dollars Spent

12-4 AM


4-8 AM


8 AM - 12 PM


12-4 PM


4-8 PM


8 PM - 12 AM


Cyber Monday Historical Bellwether for Overall Holiday Season Performance

The Monday after Thanksgiving, popularly known as “Cyber Monday,” represents the first significant spike in online spending activity for the holiday season. The phenomenon results from Cyber Monday being the first working day following the Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that purchases from work still account for approximately half of all e-commerce spending.

Interestingly, Cyber Monday has historically proved to be an accurate bellwether for the overall performance of the online holiday shopping season. While the year-over-year growth rates for individual online spending days vary quite significantly throughout the season, during the past few years Cyber Monday has been within a few percentage points of the final holiday season growth rate.

Cyber Monday Growth Rates
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.

Growth Rate vs. Prior Year

Cyber Monday

Full Holiday Season










“With so much volatility right now in the variables that influence consumer spending, predicting where this online holiday season will end up has been far more challenging than in previous years,” added Fulgoni. “That said, Cyber Monday may well prove to be an important indicator of whether the decline in spending that we’ve seen during the first few weeks of the online holiday season will continue for the balance of the year.”

Comscore 2008 Holiday Online Retail Spending Forecast

Online Non-Travel (Retail) Holiday Consumer Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.

Billions ($)



Pct Change

January – October Actual




Holiday Season Forecast (Nov-Dec)




* Actual **Forecast

About Comscore
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications