NEW YORK -- Shoppers who skipped the crowds on Black Friday gave online merchants a 16 percent spike in revenue, according to data released Saturday.
That increase came partly from shoppers who spent more per online purchase during the traditional opening day of the holiday shopping season, according to Web research company Coremetrics. The average order rose to $190.80. That's a 12 percent increase over $170.19 on the same day last year.
The solid increase adds to a 33 percent online spending spike on Thanksgiving day, and signs of bigger-than-expected crowds in stores.
Shopping on smart phones remained a small piece of the pie. Coremetrics said about 5.6 percent of people logged onto a retailer's website using a mobile device.
More dollars have shifted to online shopping over the years, but it's still a relatively small share of all holiday spending, between 8 and 10 percent.
But many shoppers have become converted to the comfort and convenience of browsing the Web for gifts.
Kelly Hager, 30, of Baltimore, Md., is shopping exclusively online for the fourth year in a row.
"It's nice to not have to fight for a parking spot and deal with 3 billion people who are all trying to get the same thing I'm trying to get," she said. Hager used to work at a mall, so she's seen Black Friday from both sides.
Those who did fight the crowds had retailers feeling bullish about the prospects for the rest of the holiday season. Broad discounts spurred long lines.
Retailers and analysts were also encouraged that people seemed to be buying more items for themselves, a sign they're feeling confident enough to spend more money overall.
Amanda Jewell was standing in a short line at the entrance of GameStop in Bellevue, Wash., before the doors opened at 7 a.m. Friday.
This year, Jewell is planning to spend about the same amount or maybe a little more on the holidays as in 2009 -- $1,500 to $2,000 total.
"I feel a little more relaxed about it," Jewell said. "Last year I was just buying presents, not for myself. This year I feel better about buying for myself."
Jessica Mintz in Bellevue, Wash., contributed to this report.