Plasma TVs a Hit for Online Shoppers!

Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is more than an event; it’s a phenomenon. Shoppers head for the malls in droves, and retailers count on the crowds to get the holiday buying season started. Brick and mortar stores are not the only ones benefiting from the flood of buyers; the rising tide also raises the boats of online retailers as well. PriceGrabber reports that the comparison shopping service referred online customers to merchants on Black Friday that resulted in $192 million in sales.

Of particular interest is that sales in the Electronics category were up 44% over last year, and “Plasma TVs” were #5 in the top 10 best-selling categories. (Digital cameras were #1, and gaming consoles were #2.)

Now, it’s not clear from the PriceGrabber announcement whether “Plasma TVs” includes LCD TVs or other technologies. My own survey on this site indicates that more visitors here are planning to buy LCD than plasma, so I’m guessing that PriceGrabber simply used “plasma” to refer to all flat panels. And it’s also not clear whether these TVs are HD or not; I suspect that many are, but a lot of them are standard or enhanced definition instead.

Still, it’s interesting to see that buyers are willing to purchase large-ticket items such as these online, in order to get a better price. It’s one more sign that the large screen TV market is rapidly expanding beyond the rich enthusiasts and into a broader segment of consumers.