Black Friday and Cyber Monday were record-setters for the value of merchandise handled through ChannelAdvisor’s e-commerce solutions with bargain hunters leading the way, says company founder and Chief Executive Officer Scot Wingo.

“We have been pleasantly surprised,” Wingo told WRAL Local Tech Wire about gross merchandise volume that topped out at more than $18 million a week ago today.” The U.S. consumer is still hanging in there this holiday season even with the tough economic backdrop.”

As one would expect given the onset of the recession, bargain hunters were out in force.

“It’s really mixed,” Wingo said when asked what customers such as Amazon and eBay were telling his Morrisville-based firm. “Customers that are in lower priced goods and hot categories like video games are shocked. Many have been caught with lower stock levels and are selling out which is actually a bad thing.

“However, sellers that are I the higher priced items like jewelry or plasma TVs are having a tough time and having to offer lower priced items to make up for it,” he added.

Sounds as if what’s occurring in the e-commerce world is the same as in retail outlets.

“Retailers are discounting a little more, but I’d say there’s more spot promotional activities,”Wingo noted. “Also we are seeing heavy use of coupons and cash back / rebates.”

comScore, which tracks online commerce and other trends, reported Monday that overall e-commerce sales for the holiday season through Dec. 5 were $14.92 billion. That’s roughly equivalent to 2007 spending. However, the post-Thanksgiving weekend capped by Cyber Monday produced a 9 percent increase to $3.74 billion from a year earlier.

Wingo and company work with online retailers in three ways – paid search, comparison shopping and through online marketplaces. Leading the way in terms of growth are Amazon and Google, Wingo noted.

“Amazon within the marketplace segment is growing fastest for us,” he said. “Amazon has done some very strategic things to expand outside of books that are really paying off.

“Next paid-search continues to do very well thanks to Google. Google has changed their algorithms to improve the quality of results shown and it’s having strong results for retailers.”

Consumers are certainly becoming more savvy in spending dollars – and their time. Wingo said more prudent shopping is helping drive online sales growth.

“I think there are several trends at play,” he explained.

“1. You can still find great deals online vs. offline

“2. Even with gas prices coming down to multi-year lows, consumers find the ease and convenience of online shopping to be a big win over offline experiences. I went to the mall last weekend and spent at least one hour on just going in, parking, coming out, leaving. Not to mention the stress of the whole experience.”

Since ChannelAdvisor is a global firm, the venture-backed company offers a snapshot into global spending, and Wingo said he was seeing worldwide spend increasing. (He noted that of ChannelAdvisor’s business, 80 percent comes from the U.S., 15 percent from the United Kingdom, four percent from Germany and 1 percent from Australia.)

Business is strong, too, with Wingo’s customer count at 6,000 – an increase of 1,500 over the past year.

ChannelAdvisor closed on $20 million in venture financing in September and now employs around 300 people, with 200 of those in RTP. Wingo won’t disclose any financials about the firm but did note that he isn’t looking for any funding right now.

“Our funding in September should hold us for the foreseeable future,” he said.