Black Friday: Social And Upwardly Mobile
It’s Cyber Monday.
Bosses everywhere, go ahead and hang it up. Simply consider Cyber Monday an extension of the long holiday weekend.
Your employees are going to be plenty busy today, but not for work: There are deals to be had, submit buttons to be struck, credit card security codes to be discovered, shopping carts to be filled!!
And if early results in for Black Friday are any indication, a glorious Cyber Monday it could be.
IBM Coremetrics’ Third Annual Black Friday Benchmark Report was issued over the weekend, an analysis of the online retail sector during this important holiday shopping period.
Here’s what was witnessed from Friday’s e-shopping tidings:
- Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up a healthy 15.9 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value up from $170.19 to $190.80 (an increase of 12 percent)
- Luxury Goods Make a Comeback: Jewelry retailers reported a 17.6 percent increase in sales. These affluent shoppers appear very willing to open their wallets.
- Surgical Shopping: Consumers know what they want and where to get it. People are viewing 18.0 percent fewer products on sites than they did last year, suggesting that they are shopping with a specific item in mind and quickly moving on.
- Social Shopping: Consumers appear increasingly savvy about their favorite brands’ social presence, and are turning to their networks on social sites for information about deals and inventory levels. While the percentage of visitors arriving from social network sites is fairly small relative to all online visitors — nearly 1 percent — it is gaining momentum, with Facebook dominating the space.
- Mobile Shopping: On Black Friday, 5.6 percent of people logged onto a retailer’s site using a mobile device, a jump of 26.7 percent compared to the prior Friday.
John Squite, chief strategy officer for IBM Coremetrics, had this to say about this year’s results:
“On Black Friday, consumers came, they clicked and they shopped their way across the Internet, and this time, they weren’t just looking for bargains. Consequently, we’re watching online retail, and increasingly social media and mobile, become the growth engines for retailers everywhere as consumers embrace online shopping not only for its ease and convenience, but as a primary means of researching goods and services.”
In related news, Comscore announced its own holiday e-commerce spending numbers: U.S. retail e-commerce spending for the first 26 days of the November – December 2010 holiday season: $11.64 billion has been spent online, a 13-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.
Black Friday saw $648 million in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2010 and representing a 9-percent increase versus Black Friday 2009.
Thanksgiving Day (November 26), traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 28-percent increase to $407 million.
Amazon continued its juggernaut performance, with a net positive 25 percent year-over-year increase in unique visitors on Black Friday (compared to 9 percent at Target, 1 percent at Best Buy, and a negative 1 percent at Wal-Mart).
My two cents on this year’s Black Friday: The digital mobile and social nexus is far from reaching its apogee — the mobilly-empowered shopper is a new species, one unafraid to walk into the store with information and resources at their fingertips, from the Web, and their friends and family, to inform their purchases: before, during, and even after their purchases.
Smart retailers, rather than discourage price-conscious mobile shoppers, should turn lemons into lemonade, offering more price-matching and e-couponing that draws such mobile shoppers into their stores in droves.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s early Monday morning and I’ve got some holiday shopping to do.