Thursday, December 3, 2009
Cyber Monday Outperforms Black Friday
Posted by Ahmed Al-Salem
The last week of November is an especially important one for the U.S. economy. Following the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday is Black Friday, traditionally the best sales day of the year for retailers as Americans rush to do their Christmas gift shopping. The name was coined because businesses count on the day's sales to bring their balance sheets into the black.
With the rise of the Internet, the term "Cyber Monday" was coined in 2005, referring to the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend when online shopping surges. The two days are of great significance as they serve as a bellwether for the U.S. economy, indicating the level of consumer confidence and illuminating consumption trends.
Experts paid particularly close attention this year because a rise in consumption could signal a recovery of the U.S. economy, and the world economy in turn, from the financial crisis, which started last September. Many predicted that Black Friday would be bigger than Cyber Monday as usual, but the results were surprising.
According to market researcher Coremetrics, U.S. consumers spent 10 percent more on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday. Monday's sales were up 14 percent compared to last year and the number of items per order also climbed 30 percent.
In contrast, the average U.S. consumer bought US$343.31 worth of goods on Black Friday, down 7.9 percent from last year, the National Retail Federation said.
Experts say that recession-weary consumers used offline retailers for window shopping before turning to the Internet to make actual purchases at better prices.