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 

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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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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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St Patrick’s Day 2009 – Will Americans Be Sharing or Only Wearing The Green?

March 13, 2009

 

st-pats-clover-dollar

Along with New Year’s and Halloween, St Patrick’s Day is one of the major party-inducing holidays each year. The National Retail Federation’s latest Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found that the average spend per person will fall this year, as Americans look for cheaper ways to celebrate such as parties at home or cheaper drink brands. While total spending is expected to reach $3.29 billion, the average per person spend is expected to drop from 2008’s $35.04 to $32.80.

 

According to the survey, 25-34 year-olds will spend the most, with an average of $39.42 per person, but even young adults aged 18-24, who are usually eager to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, are expected to spend less – $36.05 this year compared to $42.20 in 2008.

 

When asked If they will be celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year, 44% of the respondents said yes while 56% had no plans to do so.

 

The celebration plans breakdown:

 

82% plan to wear green

17% plan to attend a private party

30% plan to attend a party at a bar/restaurant

22% plan to decorate home or office

33% plan to make a special dinner

 

Want to have your St Patrick’s Day opinions heard? Take our 5 questions St Patrick’s Day Survey. Once you have completed the survey look for “View Survey Results” on the top of the Thank-You page to view the results in real-time to see how your answers compare. 


Holiday Gift-Giving: Who’s Getting and Who’s Not

December 23, 2008

holiday-gifts

 

 

 

Given the 2008 holiday shopping and gift-giving season is seeing a less-than-robust economic downpour, I was interested in finding out who is going to feel the drought and who will feel the rain.

 

Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed American shoppers who are cutting back this year and has revealed their findings. There are some interesting figures in their recent consumer report as well.

 

Here are a few of the highlights:

 

84% say they plan to buy fewer gifts for themselves

 

40% plan to cut back on buying for friends and family

 

30% are cheaping out on service providers (delivery person, hairstylists, etc…)

 

29% percent will skimp on co-workers

 

Of their family and friends, grandparents, grandchildren, and children under age 18, are the least likely to feel the impact. Amazingly enough, pets will fare quite well this year. Only 23% say they’ll spend less on Fido and Spot. Let me think about that a minute. The person I work with every day or the dog, hmmm….

 

Harking back to the past, Michael’s, the Arts & Crafts store, offers these holiday gift-giving findings:

 

An estimated 42 million American households craft for the Nov-Dec gift-giving season

 

58% of holiday shoppers stated they were more likely to make gifts this year than last year

 

41% said handmade gifts were the best use if their holiday shopping dollars this year

 

I don’t know if I am like most people, but I appreciate the thought and effort behind a gift more so than the gift itself. How about you?