TVs, Not Computers, Most Popular Electronics on Black Friday

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TVs were more popular than computers among Black Friday shoppers, according to early estimates from retail analyst groups that also found that technology in general was a hit with people looking for good deals.

Preliminary figures from retail market research firm NPD Group found that more electronics shoppers came out because of good products at great prices, even as the number of overall shoppers fell across retailers. In fact, 65 percent of this year's tech buyers made their purchases because they saw what they really wanted on sale.

The NPD Group says more than 23 percent of Black Friday shoppers purchased some type of electronics product, up 15 percent from last year. TVs, particularly larger ones, were the hot item this year. Up 30 percent from 2010, TV purchases passed computers as the most popular electronics category, excluding video games.

And like other years, it looks like tech shoppers were among those who scored big when checking out.

The NPD Group said that while Best Buy was the fourth most shopped retailer, behind Walmart, Target, and Amazon, more than 58 percent of Best Buy shoppers actually made purchases compared to 38 percent last year.

While Black Friday has typically meant people frequenting brick and mortar stores, it's increasingly becoming a day for online shopping, as well.

In fact, an IBM Coremetrics Benchmark report shows that Black Friday online shopping was up 24 percent this year. Mobile traffic increased to 14 percent compared with 5.6 percent last year, resulting in purchases made on mobile devices rising to 9.8 percent, up from 3.2 percent in 2010.

Overall, according to retail foot-traffic counting service ShopperTrak, bigger crowds spent more dollars than ever during the day after Thanksgiving. Specifically, Black Friday sales increased 6.6 percent over the same day last year, representing $11.4 billion in retail purchases and the biggest dollar amount ever spent during the day. Foot-traffic in stores was also up, increasing by 5.1 percent over 2010.

Whether Black Friday’s success with shoppers indicates a hot holiday shopping season that will continue through December is an unanswered question. One thing is certain, however. The big shopping weekend isn't over.

Monday is known as Cyber Monday, which is widely regarded as the biggest online shopping day of the year.

If you're planning to do some online shopping, make sure to check back here before offering up your credit card -- PCWorld will be featuring a big lineup of the best deals going.

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This story, "TVs, Not Computers, Most Popular Electronics on Black Friday" was originally published by PCWorld.

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