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 (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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Americans Show Heart And Resilience This February

February 14, 2009


The results of the Zoomerang February 2009 Consumer Survey, focused on how the economy has affected people’s love lives, have been released. Of the 52% who said they would be shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift this year, 58% of the respondents said they plan to spend the same on a gift this year as they did last year


Additional highlights from the study include:


19% of people buying a Valentine’s Day gift this year will not buy a card

56% of people list trust as the most important aspect of a love relationship, while 0% listed money

8% of people say appearance most attracts them to another person after they’ve spoken with them, while 56% say personality is the biggest factor and 17% list a sense of humor.


When all is said and done, money does still play a factor in people’s relationships. In fact, another study done by the National Retail Federation finds that consumers will be spending less this Valentine’s Day. When asked to rate how important money is in a love relationship, only 15% of Zoomerang survey respondents indicated it was not at all important while 31% indicated it was important.

CNBC’s “Pulse of the Economy and Consumers” survey

December 19, 2008


CNBC posted the video of one of their recent “Wealth In America” segments which discusses the results of their Holiday Shopping Plans survey as well as the results from their most recent “Pulse of the Economy and Consumers” survey.


The results were pretty much as I expected, although there were a couple of interestingly optimistic findings:


Over the last 3 months, the average planned spending has gone from $44 above to $34 below last year’s plans. The average Holiday spending plans in dollars for 2008 has decreased a total of $77 in the last 3 months, from $781 planned in Sept ‘08 to $704 planned in December ‘08. In Dec ‘07 the planned average was $738 which was higher than the Dec ‘06 average of $688.


As for the current state of the economy, 4% believe it is ‘good’, 25% believe it is ‘only fair’ and 70% believe it is ‘poor’. When asked to classify the current economic state, 8% believe we are in a ‘slowdown’, 29% believe we are in a ‘mild recession, 51% believe we are in a ‘serious recession’ and 8% believe we are in a ‘depression’. One of the interesting findings is that overall, Democrats are twice as optimistic about the economy improving than they were this past September.


At the end of the report, they offer the final analysis of their findings as “Spend Less, Worry More”. For me, I can agree with the spend less aspect but I am finding myself feeling fairly optimistic although I won’t be surprised if things get a bit worse before they start improving. I don’t find myself worrying too much right now, especially with gas prices at a 5-year low saving me more than 50% on my monthly expense compared to just a few months ago.

Santa vs. The Grinch – The 2008 Holiday Shopping Showdown

December 16, 2008


 Zoomerang has released the results of its November 2008 consumer study focused on what people will be buying this holiday season and how the economy has affected their plans. Not surprisingly, the online survey found that many people are being impacted – in fact, a staggering 80% say they will be cutting back on spending for their holiday shop this year.


So how are consumers responding and changing their behaviors to deal with their thinner wallets? The Zoomerang study found that among those who said they will be cutting back 85% will be taking advantage of sales, 52% will be clipping coupons, and 43% will be shopping online to save money.


When asked what the most exciting and disappointing things were about shopping this year, survey takers were encouraged about lower gas prices and failing retailers. Answers included: ”Gas prices are down, (so I) can spend more gifts” and ”Good deals because of the economy.” Others were irritable about their limited cash flow and big crowds, ”The amount of people out there shopping with me” and ”Spending money that I don’t have” were other open ended responses received.


I plan to cut back on my holiday spending this year by waiting just a bit longer to get started. I can take full advantage of the even lower prices that will be coming next week, not to mention the great after-holiday deals that will be sure to be had. I know that will put me right in the middle of the late-shopping madness but that is a price I am more than willing to pay this year. What are you doing to make sure Santa triumphs over The Grinch?

Why online surveys rock.

October 23, 2008

It’s really not that hard to see why surveys are so much fun. Instead of doing formal research (boring), you can  ask people straight up what they really think by shooting them a quick survey. Take for example, an online survey I did the other week. I was wondering how the horrors of the current economy were going to take a toll on America’s holiday plans. Guess what- a lot of people’s holiday travel plans have been trashed or instead they have to walk to grandma’s house for eggnog.

Seriously here are some stats that are kinda scary:

26% of people are going to change how they travel

83% said high gas prices will make it hard to travel

76% are spending less on presents within their families

89% are planning to shop at discount sites for airfare

This is why surveys rock. You can find out how people really feel- for good or bad.

When asked how the current economy is affecting daily life, I think one person summed it up best, “I feel like I am being crushed.” There is no doubt a lot of people are suffering right now. Thank your lucky stars if you’re not one of them.