Shocker: Lots of people shopped online Thanksgiving Day

While there's been a lot of attention paid to retail sales for Black Friday, it appears that online shoppers wanted to get a head start on Thursday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. New data from a number of sources show that visits to retail websites were significantly up on Thanksgiving Day.

Experian reports, "Thanksgiving Day online traffic increased 71% in 2012 versus 2011  as the top 500 retail sites received more than 181 million total US visits." As expected, Amazon.com was the most popular retail website on Thanksgiving Day, but Walmart.com was actually a close second, with a 92 percent increase in website traffic compared to the previous day. Target, Best Buy and Sears filled out the rest of the top five and all showed big increases in site visits.

PayPal's blog also reports it saw a massive 173 percent increase in mobile payments from its service on Thanksgiving compared to a year ago, along with a 164 percent increase in its global customers on its mobile site. That shows that there's a lot more interest in customers in shopping via their smartphone or tablet products.

It will be interesting to see what the online sales data for Black Friday turns out to be, along with the upcoming Cyber Monday event.

Source: Experian | Image via Experian

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19 Comments

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In todays world, I don't know why anyone would shop at a local retail store during this time of year?

Never could figure out why some people actually camp out for days, waiting for this crap either! There is absolutely NOTHING that is so important that I would camp out waiting for store to open.

Also, doesn't this show another point that people are more happy to be online on thanksgiving day than actually talking to their family? Hehe

Online shopping is tax avoidance for the rest of us; do you REALLY think that those states and localities are going to forgo those tax revenues forever? I mean, be honest - how many of you would shop online if you also had to pay sales tax on those purchases?

Well for one thing, your ass is just resting on a chair at home instead of having to waste gas and energy just going to the store, and then finding out that it is out of stock or something. Convenience is the name of the game for online shopping, my friend.

PGHammer said,
Online shopping is tax avoidance for the rest of us; do you REALLY think that those states and localities are going to forgo those tax revenues forever? I mean, be honest - how many of you would shop online if you also had to pay sales tax on those purchases?

Depends on the item and the price. Even without tax Newegg and Amazon are still cheaper than Best Buy. If the price were equal it would depend on how fast I wanted the item. Some non-essential thing I would just buy online to save time but something that I'm excited for I'd get at the store if the price were the same or a small amount more.

PGHammer said,
Online shopping is tax avoidance for the rest of us; do you REALLY think that those states and localities are going to forgo those tax revenues forever? I mean, be honest - how many of you would shop online if you also had to pay sales tax on those purchases?

In NY we pay tax for all online purchases and I still shop online.

PGHammer said,
Online shopping is tax avoidance for the rest of us; do you REALLY think that those states and localities are going to forgo those tax revenues forever? I mean, be honest - how many of you would shop online if you also had to pay sales tax on those purchases?

Well we do pay VAT (our equivalent of sales tax) on online purchases in the UK, and people still are increasingly preferring it. Prices are still generally cheaper, you don't have to deal with large crowds, you don't have to pay for public transport / parking and fuel, etc etc. Nothing to do with sales tax.

Did I miss good deals on Newegg? Because most of the items seemed really crappy. Or maybe my judgement is just off. Felt like I was at a garage sale.

Wish I could have gotten the 250GB Xbox with 2 games for $199. Think Newegg went out of stock fast, and I had to watch the last boxes go bye-bye last night at Best Buy.

Gotta say, I buy anything I can from Amazon Prime. Free 2 day shipping and almost always get the best price for whatever. I'm more surprised with Walmart's numbers...

Chart does not match the article.

with a 92 percent increase in website traffic compared to a year ago

But the chart gives dates for November 21 & 22, both 2012.

MDboyz said,
Well I'm one of them. I feel much safer to shop online at home.

Sad but true. 4 people were hurt, and 2 killed at Walmart here this year. I hate even having to WORK on black Friday, much less try to shop.

tiagosilva29 said,
I'm shocked and appalled.

well better that than real stores forcing employees in later in the day out in the open.. probably was some backfire for forcing the issue. best buy shocked me by bothering to care. walmart. bleh. worthless

PatrynXX said,
well better that than real stores forcing employees in later in the day out in the open.. probably was some backfire for forcing the issue. best buy shocked me by bothering to care. walmart. bleh. worthless

No, I'm shocked and appalled that tabular data was posted as a ****ing image.