Online spending rose by 42% on ‘Black Friday’ – the day after Thanksgiving in the US - according to figures from analysis group comScore. 

Total US online spending for the first 24 days of November reached $8.31bn, a 23% increase over the same period in 2005. Black Friday saw a 42% increase on 2005’s figures.

The group also picked up a 21% increase in traffic on shopping comparison sites, while local shopping comparison service, ShopLocal.com, saw a three-figure increase in traffic on Black Friday and the three days before, as shoppers used the site to source bargains at local stores.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni believes this trend will continue:

“Clearly consumers are increasing their use of online resources to drive their offline shopping.”

“On Black Friday, when many consumers were drawing up their ‘battle plans’ for finding in-store bargains, it appears that the savviest among them had already used the internet to price items for purchase at local stores offline.”

Figures from Nielsen//Net Ratings tell a similar story.  It says traffic to shopping comparison sites Shopping.com and PriceGrabber.com saw traffic increases of 40% and 45% respectively compared with 2005.

In the same figures, eBay had the highest traffic for Black Friday, with 7.5m unique visitors. Amazon was in second place with 3.4m, while Wal-Mart came third on 3.2m.