"For e-tailers, the Thanksgiving holiday week is critical to getting holiday shopping on track. Aggressive promotions have been used industry wide, including free shipping and day-after-Thanksgiving pricing specials," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of analytical services, NetRatings.
The 22% growth compares to a 27% jump during last year's post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping. Friday-to-Friday growth comparing November 16 to November 23 posted a 32% increase.
"These results suggest that Friday's up tick was not as pronounced as it was a year ago. That said, Friday drew 32% more shoppers than the prior Friday, which sets favorable expectations for the week as a whole," said Kaldor.
Virtual Department Stores Capture Shoppers' Attention
Virtual department stores attracted the attention of many shoppers during the Thanksgiving holiday, with large jumps Friday-to-Friday. Amazon claimed a majority of virtual department store shopping with 1.7 million daily unique visitors the day after Thanksgiving, increasing 33%. Wal-Mart drew 355,000 daily unique visitors, spiking 132%, followed by Target, which attracted 312,000 daily shoppers. The site jumped 152% in daily unique audience.
"The Web has not lost its incredible power to attract consumers interested in wide selection, low prices and convenient shopping, particularly in the face of crowded malls. This is especially true of virtual department stores," said Kaldor.
Kmart saw 227,000 shoppers, rising 227%, while Sears drew 220,000 unique visitors, jumping 73%. JCPenney grew to 217,000 daily unique visitors, increasing 86%.
"Five of the six top virtual department stores find their roots in strong brick-and-mortar brands, with Amazon as the only exception. Having a brick-and-mortar presence has proven to be a successful online formula for virtual department stores," said Kaldor.