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Black Friday Sales Online Top $1 Billion For First Time

Amazon and Wal-Mart posted the highest sales as more consumers turned to online retail - through their smartphones as well as their PC's - to do their Black Friday shopping than ever before.

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

Online sales jumped 26 percent on Black Friday to $1.04 billion from sales of $816 million on the corresponding day last year, according to comScore data.

Amazon.com 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 sites run by Best Buy Co., Target Corp. and Apple Inc. , comScore noted.

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

E-commerce accounts for less than 10 percent 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 percent from the same day last year. [ID: nL1E8MO1P4]

"Online has been around 9 percent of total holiday sales, but it could breach 10 percent for the first time this season," said Scot Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor, which helps merchants sell more on websites, including Amazon.com and eBay.com.

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

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