So, did you dash to the malls or to your laptop/tablet/phone on a tryptophan high last week?
I personally did venture out on Black Friday morning, hitting only two stores that were offering deals not available online to pick up gifts for my kids. The rest of my Black Friday shopping was done on the web the night before—deals that I had previously taken advantage of instore were online, so I beat the crowds and cut down on my post-turkey retail trot.
In social media, I observed many friends proclaiming proudly that they weren't hitting the stores on Black Friday. But someone, actually a lot of someones, were out shopping—online, offline, via mobile, heck, where ever someone would take their credit cards, they were spending.
53.3 million Americans visited online retailers on Black Friday, an increase of 18% over last year, reported comScore. And ShopperTrak reported that retail foot traffic rose 3.5 percent over 2011, to more than 307.67 million store visits. (For our round-up of Black Friday sales and trends, click here.)
Search and email drove a lot of those shopping decisions. According to NetElixir, year over year search advertising driven sales revenue increased by 31%, and search spending for Black Friday grew 21%. Responsys reported that major online retailers sent each of their subscribers an all-time high of 5.3 promotional emails on average during the 5-day period beginning on Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday—an 18% increase over the same period last year.