Black Friday And Cyber Monday Recap

December 7, 2009

 

The 2009 Black Friday results from The National Retail Federation reported that while 195 million shoppers hit stores or Web sites over Thanksgiving weekend (up considerably from 172 million in 2008) shoppers spent less, with average spending falling 7.9 % (from $372.57 per household last year to $343.31 this year).

According to the survey, 32% of shoppers purchased toys, an increase of 13% from last year. Additionally, more people purchased sporting goods (13% vs. 11% last year), personal care or beauty items (22% vs. 19%) and gift cards (21% vs. 19%). The most popular purchases were of clothing (51%) and books (40%), which remained nearly unchanged over last year. In order to nab the best holiday items, more shoppers headed out for bargains while it was still dark outside – nearly one-third of shoppers (31%) were at the stores by 5 am compared with 23% who were at stores by that time last year.

Check out eBay’s activity on their transaction map for a Black Friday shopping visual representation.

Most signs point to a positive trend when it comes to online sales and traffic this year. comScore reported Cyber Monday 2009 online sales were up 5% over last year to $887 million which matched the heaviest online spending day in history (December 9, 2008). For the holiday season-to-date, $12.26 billion has been spent online, marking a 3% increase over the same period last year. Hitwise reported Amazon once again topped the list as the most visited retail website, seeing a 44% increase in visits compared to 2008 and received 16% of the visits among the top 500 online retail sites. Wal-Mart was the second most visited with 10% of visits followed by Target with 5%, BestBuy came in fourth with 4% followed by JC Penney with 3 %. Wal-Mart took the top spot for the most visited online site on Thanksgiving Day this year but Amazon edged out Wal-Mart on Black Friday. This is the fifth year in a row that Wal-Mart was the top visited site on Thanksgiving Day and Amazon has been Cyber Monday’s top visited site since 2006.

Among the top 20 sites visited on Cyber Monday 2009, Staples saw the largest increase in visits compared to 2008 with a 61% increase while Barnes & Noble saw a 46% increase. The Apple Store, which didn’t make Hitwise’s top 20 sites, saw a 71% increase in visits on Cyber Monday 2009 versus 2008. Online stores who dropped in traffic from last year included Overstock.com (down 25%) and Home Depot (down 29%).

So now that you have the numbers for this year’s buying frenzy be sure to review the 13 worst holiday spending blunders from MSN Money 


Online Holiday Shopping Survey 2009

October 16, 2009

 

Online Holiday Shopping

Despite the economic downturn, e-commerce sales (including event and movie tickets) will grow about 11% to $156.1 billion this year, up from $141.3 billion in 2008, according to the State of Retailing Online 2009. E-commerce sales grew 13% from 2007 to 2008, and online sales will account for 6% of total retail sales this year, up from 5% last year. To retain customers, 53% of online retailers will use e-mails to feature online-only promotions while 55% will use e-mails to either extend invitations to participate in online surveys, highlight new product availability or to gather customer feedback.

With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, it is time once again for Zoomerang’s Annual Online Shopping Survey. This year’s study revealed that 22% of online shoppers had already begun shopping for the holidays prior to October 1, with the majority doing their online shopping between October 1 and December 10, 2009. Using Zoomerang’s Comparison Report feature to segment the survey results by gender, convenience was cited as the most important reason women are planning to shop online, while the ability to compare prices easily was the most motivating reason for men.

Additional highlights from the survey include:

– 18% of holiday shoppers plan to spend $501-$1,000+ online this year

– Ages 26-64 are the most popular recipients being shopped for online

–  Electronics and accessories was the top holiday shopping category, followed by clothing and apparel with books and media placing third

If you are an online retailer, be sure to check Zoomerang’s Top 6 Tips for Your E-Commerce Website This Holiday Shopping Season, created to directly address the top concerns raised by online shoppers.

The benefits of online shopping are plentiful for both e-tailers and consumers. The convenience involved and extensive research capabilities for product reviews as well as best prices aside, my favorite aspect is the environmental benefits. Shoppers browsing online reduce fuel consumption and avoid the CO2 emissions associated with a single-occupancy trip to the store – every minute spent shopping online uses 20 times less energy than a minute spent driving to the mall. Shopping online also reduces the need for print catalogs and excess packaging plus downloadable items purchased online eliminate the need for any kind of material goods at all. Online shopping is clearly something we all can benefit from, whether we actually do so ourselves or not.

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Shopping Cart Abandonment Survey Results

October 12, 2009

 

Shopping Cart Abandonment Survey

The National Retail Federation expects 2009 U S holiday sales to fall 1% this year to $437.6 billion, a time when 38% of consumers said they plan on doling more online shopping this year compared to last year. The most recent Coremetrics Benchmark Industry Report for U S Retail shows that the shopping cart conversion rate has dropped 3.44% over the previous annual benchmark report.

To gain insight into the reasons behind shopping cart abandonment, Zoomerang recently conducted an online survey with U S shoppers for specific details on what it takes for them to complete their online purchases. The survey results revealed the following factors as having a substantial impact on shopping cart abandonment:

No Free Shipping / Shipping Cost Confusion – 74% of online shoppers said that the cost of shipping was the #1 reason for NOT completing a purchase online 

Lack of Payment Options – After credit cards, 21% of online shoppers preferred to pay through PayPal – which was even a more popular method than paying with their atm/debit cards

Bad Product Reviews – 82% said they would rather purchase a product from an unknown brand with high/positive reviews over a well known brand with negative reviews

No Money Back Guarantees / Tough Return Policy – 60% said that they would rather purchase a product from an unknown brand with a money back guarantee over a well known brand without a money back guarantee

No Coupons – 47% of online shoppers search for online coupons before completing their online purchases

Offering a safe and quick check out process with available products, photos and cart edit options are the basic foundation of a functional website shopping cart.  By directly addressing consumers concerns, you can take the necessary actions to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate and help push those shopping carts through the check-out process – especially over this upcoming holiday season.

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Online Retailers Updating Websites To Drive More Traffic And Sales

January 26, 2009

online-retailers

 According to Internet Retailer’s latest monthly survey, online merchants are making site optimization a top priority. The study revealed that 49.9% of merchants have rolled out a new site design in the past year, including 26.6% in the last six months and 13.3% within 90 days.

 

The retailers are also focused on redesigning their web sites to achieve speedier navigation and faster performance as well as creating interactive page treatments and adding video, customer reviews and other advanced features. Improved site optimization is the top priority for 72.9% of merchants, followed by clearly organized home, category and product pages at 62.4%, better navigation at 49.4%, improved site search at 47.1% and faster checkout at 40%.

 

The Internet Retailer survey also finds that 43.3% of merchants will update their e-commerce sites with video this year, followed by 40% with personalized product recommendations, 36.7% with customer reviews and ratings, and 35% with product configuration tools.

 

By taking a more business-oriented approach to web site design, 81.7% of merchants also expect their latest redesign to attract a higher number of visitors and shoppers, compared with 76.7% that anticipate higher sales, 66.7% a higher sales conversion, 50% improved customer service and 48.3% better multi-channel sales.

 

One feature I always like to see on any e-commerce sites is customer reviews and ratings so I am glad to see more online retailers will be including and expanding those. I am always interested in hearing feedback on products and services from those with experience to help me make a better informed decision.