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 


Halloween 2009 Survey Results

October 30, 2009


Halloween 2009 Survey Results                               

                                  Double, double toil and trouble;
                                  Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
                                  Fillet of a fenny snake, 
                                  In the cauldron boil and bake; 
                                  Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
                                  Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
                                  Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, 
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
                                  For a charm of powerful trouble,
                                  Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

                                  – Incantation of the Three Witches, Macbeth

Despite the consecutive steady increase on Halloween spending over the last several years the economy has finally caught up to Halloween, with this year’s trend best summed up as creativity on a budget. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween, down from $66.54 last year, with total spending expected to reach $4.75 billion. The survey found consumers plan to spend an average of $20.75 on costumes (including children’s and pet’s costumes); $17.99 on candy; $14.54 on decorations and $3.02 on greeting cards. 

To gain further insight into celebration plans for this year, Zoomerang recently conducted an online Halloween survey. The spirit of the holiday (pun intended) is still running strong for respondents, with 71% of respondents planning on celebrating in some form. Holiday plans vary from handing out candy (67%) to attending a costumed work party (9%). With 41% planning on going trick-or-treating, others will be busy visiting pumpkin patches (27%) and haunted houses (18%). For the 54% planning on dressing up, humorous costumes at 19% are the more popular choice over the 11% who are choosing horror-related costumes.

There is good news on the eco-friendly front: 42% will be making their own costumes at home, 18% will be reusing previous costumes, 6% will be going to a used clothing or consignment store and 5% will be borrowing from friends. Only 11% will be buying from a brick and mortar store while 18% will be buying from an online retailer (it is always a good thing to cut down on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by shopping online).

One thing does remain true each year: Halloween is the perfect time to express your individuality. As for my plans, I tried my best to be creative on a budget while celebrating in an eco-friendly way. With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, I decided that I will celebrate with a weekend-long Simpsons Treehouse of Horror 20 episode marathon. Oooh, Scaaareeeyyy!Count Floyd

Okay Marge, you hide in the abandoned amusement park. Lisa, the pet cemetery. Bart, spooky roller disco. And I’ll go skinny dipping in that lake where the teens were killed one hundred years ago tonight. –Homer Simpson

Happy Halloween!

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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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