Twitter and Facebook help drive Christmas sales

Large discounts and promotions on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, are helping to boost online Christmas sales.

Twitter and Facebook help drive Christmas sales

Christmas shoppers in the US spent some $595 million online on “Black Friday”, up 11% from last year, according to comScore.

Visits to rose 28%, followed by the online unit of Wal-Mart Stores, which grew 22%. The two companies have already engaged in a heated battle for market share this Christmas, with each lowering prices on select merchandise.

The robust web sales on Black Friday speak to retailers’ attractive discounts online even on a weekend known for driving shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores, claims comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni.

“While this acceleration in spending suggests the online holiday season may be shaping up slightly more optimistically than anticipated, it may also reflect the heavy discounting and creative promotions being put forth by retailers that now encompass the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter,” says Fulgoni.

The figures provide encouragement for UK retailers, suggesting that the end of the recession in the US is loosening customers’ wallets.

Since 1 November, $10.57 billion has been spent online in the US for the holiday season, representing a 3% gain on 2008. “This is a very encouraging start,” says Fulgoni.

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