You Can’t Take A Guess? And Don’t Call Me Shirley
Needless to say, I was totally bummed to hear that Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen passed away over the U.S. holiday weekend.
I was a big fan of Nielsen’s stretching all the way back to the original “Airplane.” Man, that movie still cracks me up, and I was a wee lad when it first came out and probably had no business watching it at that young ripe age.
But I did — on videotape, no less.
For those of you who don’t know what a VCR videotape is, it’s kind of like the audio version of an 8-track tape, except it didn’t switch scenes in the middle of the tape like the 8-track did for music.
And for those of you who don’t know what a hospital is, it’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now!
Ah, what the kids these days missed out on!
Mr. Nielsen, we salute you and hope you Rest In Peace, preferably with that ubiquitous flatulation machine you liked traveling with during your last years.
And don’t call me Shirley.
Meanwhile, back at the IBM holiday shopping bean counting ranch, the data wizards at IBM Coremetrics have an update from “Cyber Monday.”
As of 12:00 AM PST last night, here’s what they’re seeing in terms of trends and points of comparison:
Cyber Monday 2010 Compared to Black Friday 2010
- Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 31.1 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $190.80 to $194.89 for an increase of 2.1 percent.
- Luxury Goods Continue Comeback: Jewelry retailers reported a significant jump of 60.3 percent in sales.
- Social Shopping: The growing trend of consumers using their networks on social sites for information about deals and inventory levels continued on Cyber Monday. 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: Consumers continue to use mobile as a shopping tool. On Cyber Monday, 3.9 percent of people visited a retailer’s site using a mobile device.
Cyber Monday 2010 Compared to Cyber Monday 2009 (year/year):
- Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 19.4 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $180.03 to $194.89 for an increase of 8.3 percent.
- Luxury Goods Report Big Gains: Affluent shoppers opened their wallets wide, driving sales of luxury goods up 24.3 percent over 2009.
- Shopping Peaks at 9:00 am PST/Noon EST: Consumers flocked online, with shopping momentum hitting its peak at 9:00 am PST/noon EST. But consumer shopping maintained stronger momentum throughout the day than on Cyber Monday 2009.
“Cyber Monday came in as the biggest shopping day of the year so far,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Coremetrics.
“Consumers this year appear much more willing to open their wallets and are turning to online stores for the convenience of shopping wherever and whenever they like,” continued Squire, “but also as their primary source of information about products and inventory levels. Retailers have done an exceptional job across the board of appealing to consumers with highly personalized promotions and a slew of free shipping promotions.”
According to an analytics-based forecast from IBM’s Global Business Services division, in-store sales in the consumer electronics and appliances sector are expected to increase 3.5 percent this year compared to last, with consumers spending a larger-than-usual share in November.
U.S. consumers have been increasing their savings relative to disposable income, from 2 percent in 2007 to nearly 6 percent today, leading to strong pent-up demand this holiday season for consumer electronics and appliances, both of which are typically seen as necessities in the present-day economy.
So, for those of you who were asking why the American consumer was spending more this holiday season, this should help at least partly explain it.
And with that, I’ll leave you with this last small back and forth from “Airplane” (Nielsen’s character was Rumack):
Rumack: “Captain, how soon can you land?
Captain Oveur: I can’t tell.
Rumack: You can tell me. I’m a doctor.
Captain Oveur: No. I mean I’m just not sure.
Rumack: Well, can’t you take a guess?
Captain Oveur: Well, not for another two hours.
Rumack: You can’t take a guess for another two hours?