Black Friday online sales increase 26 percent

Black Friday online sales increase 26 percent

Online holiday sales have increased dramatically compared to last year, as Black Friday totals marked the busiest ecommerce day of 2011.

According to comScore, online shoppers spent $816 million on Black Friday, a 26 percent increase from 2010 and the most active sales day so far this year. Thanksgiving Day included $479 million in internet sales, an 18 percent rise over last year, the research firm said.

"Despite some analysts' predictions that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors early for Black Friday would pull dollars from online retail, we still saw a banner day for ecommerce with more than $800 million in spending," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it's clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels."

Online shopping activity had thrived during the early part of the holiday shopping season, as sales during the first 25 days of November spiked to $12.7 billion, 15 percent higher than the same period of last year, the report said.

Increased online sales stresses the importance of businesses and consumers working together to create a secure ecommerce environment. Hackers have progressively targeted small retailers, as those companies generally have less security resources. Consumers should also beware of holiday scams and confirm websites are secure before disclosing credit card information.