Sunday, December 6, 2009

Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

By Minjune Kim

Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Some Quick Facts

• Black Friday spending rose 0.5%, ($54 million), to $10.7 billion, this year from last year.
• Online sales up 17% (Thurs. to Sun.) over the same period last year.
• Cyber Monday up 11%, more than they did a year ago.
• Shoppers spent less per transaction: the average size of each sales ticket decreased nearly 14% from last year.
• and were the most visited online shopping sites.

This holiday season shoppers found deep discounts in a competitive Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Approximately 195 million shoppers, an increase from 172 million last year, either shopped at stores or online over the Black Friday weekend, typically the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. The National Retail Federation reports sales totaled $41.2 billion, up slightly from $41 billion reported during the four-day weekend last year

John Gerlach, a professor of Finance at Sacred Heart University, prefers cyber-shopping to walking the malls to purchase holiday gifts for friends and relatives.
"I prefer to do as much as I can online," Gerlach said. "I can shop that way on my schedule, even late at night. Online stores don't close. And, of course, there are no crowds. We're seeing more and more people doing their holiday shopping online."
Gerlach is part of a swelling crowd of online shoppers that have retailers catering to cyber-customers with special deals as well as reduced or no shipping charges. In fact, many online retailers have noticed a spike in sales on the Monday after Black Friday. The trend has grown to the point that online retailers typically refer to this day as "Cyber Monday."

You can't throw a rock without hitting an online retailer prognosticating about Internet holiday shopping trends. HauteLook, an online retailer that does limited-time sale events, said that from Nov. 26 to Nov. 30, sales rose 500 percent compared with the same period last year. According to a survey, 96.5 million Americans said they'd shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from 85 million in 2008. But according to ComScore, those estimates are wildly high. It says that only 8.7 million people made online purchases on Cyber Monday and that retail e-commerce spending rose just 5 percent, to $887 million. Coremetrics painted a rosier picture of Cyber Monday: Compared with 2008, it said, sales were up 13.7 percent and the average amount consumers spent on each order was up 38.2 percent.

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