With online shopping and social media trends developing and changing daily, we love to keep up to date with whats happening around the globe, so when we found this article on the Black Friday sales and how they have been effected by online stores – we knew we had to share it!
So “Black Friday” is sort of like the US version of our Boxing Day sales however it follows Thanksgiving, not Christmas Day. It is a key day for retailers as it is basically the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Traditionally most major retailers open extremely early and offer promotional sales. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005.
What does that mean for online retailers, both in the US and around the world? Well yesterday ComScore in the US predicted that e-commerce sales would jump by 14% this holiday season compared to last year, to $42 billion, and some numbers just out from IBM’s Benchmark service indicate that consumers are getting a head start on Thanksgiving! No waiting for the food-coma to subside – people are shopping from the couch! Online sales, it says, are already up by 14.3% on last year, with the average order at $132.57. IBM also highlighted a particularly strong showing in mobile commerce.
As of noon US Eastern time today, IBM says the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site was at 26.5%, compared to 15.8% in 2011. The average number of pages viewed on a mobile device was 7.13.
Some argue that this is because mobile devices, in fact, have made the process of online shopping more socially acceptable during a group gathering like Thanksgiving. They are less anti-social, or perhaps more discreet. Apple has a lot to do with that: IBM says the iPhone led as the most popular device driving retail shopping, with 9.6% of traffic coming from it. In a very close second place was the iPad, at 9.3%. IBM aggregates all Android devices together, and collectively they drove 7.3% of all traffic.
Mobile devices are also becoming better tools for actually buying things, too. IBM says that 14.1% of consumers have been using their mobile devices to make purchases, up four percentage points on last year.
Overall, consumers both online and on mobile are ordering an average of 3.67 items, IBM says.
IBM Benchmark collects and analyzes data directly from the web sites of over 500 large U.S. retailers. The list includes close to 50% of the Internet Retailer Top 100, so it becomes a good barometer for what is happening across the larger online e-commerce landscape. It tracks more than a million transactions per day, analyzing terabytes of raw data in real-time, and it’s issuing updates through today and Black Friday, and again on Monday.
Update: IBM put out another report at 3pm Eastern (US) time, which noted another increase: Thanksgiving 2012 e-commerce spend is now 16.4% higher than 2011. All other metrics also increased very slightly. Retailers like eBay are predicting another jump in activity as consumers crawl to the sofa to go online after gorging themselves on food.