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Strong Black Friday Online Sales Give Hope for Big Holiday Numbers

Is Black Friday the new Cyber Monday?

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Online sales on Black Friday grew more than 20 percent year over year, according to several industry studies, a sign that brick-and-mortar’s biggest shopping day is becoming a hit on the web as well.

Studies from Adobe, ChannelAdvisor and Custora indicate that Black Friday sales this year increased somewhere between 20.6 percent and 24 percent over 2013. Sales completed on tablets and mobile phones accounted for between 27 percent and 30 percent of all sales, according to these studies.

Earlier this month, comScore predicted that total e-commerce sales would rise 16 percent for the entire holiday season, which it describes as the months of November and December. If that projection turns out to be correct, it could signal that more online retailers are pushing their best promotions live on Black Friday this year, and that Cyber Monday will show lower growth than in years past.

Adobe says data from nearly 70 percent of the 100 top Internet retailers is included in its study. Custora, on the other hand, is more popular with young e-commerce companies. ChannelAdvisor works with online sellers to sell their goods across a variety of online marketplaces, most notably Amazon and eBay. Sellers included in ChannelAdvisor’s study saw their sales increase 24 percent on Amazon this year compared to 2013.

Taken together, the three studies should portray a directionally accurate picture of the overall e-commerce market.

That said, one prominent online e-commerce study showed vastly different results than the three above. IBM says that Black Friday sales among its customers only rose 9.5 percent on Black Friday. (I’ve reached out to IBM to get more information about the size of the retailers included in its study.)

This article originally appeared on

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