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Online Shopping Off To A Fast Start

11/29/2011

Analyzing Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become nearly as common as those about Super Bowl commercials. So I’ll make this my last post on the subject.

Online shopping jumped 24 to 26 percent on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, versus the same period a year earlier, IBM Benchmark, which tracks transactions on websites of 500 retailers, said on Saturday. Here are few data points from ZDNet:

  • Amazon reports that its Kindle family had the best Black Friday ever and the Kindle Fire remains the best-selling product on the e-commerce site. File this statement in the anecdotal category since Amazon never coughs up the real unit data.
  • ComScore says that online spending on Black Friday was up 26 percent from a year ago to $816 million. Amazon, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and Apple were the top five retailer properties in order, according to comScore.
  • Amazon reports that its Kindle family had the best Black Friday ever and the Kindle Fire remains the best selling product on the e-commerce site. File this statement in the anecdotal category since Amazon never coughs up the real unit data.
  • Retail sales during Thanksgiving weekend climbed 16 percent.
  • Total retail sales were $52.4 billion, with the average shopper spending $398.62 over the weekend, up from $395.34 last year.

All of this adds up to great momentum going into the holiday season for retailers, right? Not so fast. Consumers don’t care about momentum. They have a list. They have a budget. The have a hard stop date to complete their task. Most consumers don’t see the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a specific unit of commerce. It’s life made busier by the need/desire to make purchases of gifts for friends and family. That is exactly why eCommerce sales are outpacing bricks & mortar sales. It takes less time, can be done on any schedule and tends to be hassle free.

Don’t look for stores sales to be record-breaking across the board this year. Consumers are still wary of the economy and bored by much of what passes for merchandising these days. However, if you want a Kindle Fire…I’d suggest ordering it now.

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