Beware of Early Black Friday, Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday Numbers

Posted on by Tim Parry

chewbacca-defense.jpgWhat can we at
Multichannel Merchant tell from the early Black Friday, Thanksgiving Weekend and
Cyber Monday sales figures that have come across our desks?

Not a lot, really. But we can draw to a conclusion that marketers don’t want us to report: 100% of surveys completed, were taken by people who were surveyed. Some “results” that have been reported to us are like the Chewbacca Defense. And others? Yes, some of them do make sense.

Take digital media measurement firm ComScore, since it’s reporting some real, solid figures. It’s telling us that U.S. retail online sales on Black Friday were up 9%, at $648 million, and up 28% on Thanksgiving Day to $407 million. It’s also telling us that Amazon.com’s ecommerce sites saw a 25% increase in unique visitors, and Target’s unique visitors were up 9%.

And the National Retail Federation/BIGresearch poll estimates 212 million people shopped either in a store on online this Black Friday weekend, up from 195 million in 2009. The average shopper also spent $22 more than it did last year, and the NRF says U.S. retail sales topped $45 billion.

But the NRF says before merchants pop open the champagne and celebrate a happy holiday season, a solid Black Friday weekend does not always equal a year-over-year lift in holiday sales:

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