Amidst rising Facebook influence, Black Friday Online Spending Up 16%

First what is Black Friday, excerpt from Wikipedia,

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Especially popular in the United States, the event is spreading to other nations such as Canada and Australia. On this day, many retailers open very early, often at 4 a.m., or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but many employers give their employees the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate,have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.

The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.

This year Online spending rose much more than expected on Black Friday, should the trend continue, holiday 2010 sales may be stronger than expected, especially if e-commerce (online purchase) is a proxy for overall retail activity.

Comscore, the online research firm, had expected online sales to rise 12% this year. However, According to Coremetrics third annual Black Friday Benchmark Report, quoted here, “Online sales were up a healthy 15.9 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $170.19 to $190.80 for an increase of 12.1 percent.

Trends that are clearly seen in the recent report:

1) Luxury Goods have come back to favor. Jewelry retailers reported a 17.6 percent increase in sales.Affluent shoppers appear very willing to spend money.

2) Consumers are not wandering unnecessarily , they know what they want and where to get it. People are viewing 18.0 percent fewer products on sites than last year.

3) Shopping via Social networks or Social Shopping finding traction: Consumers appear increasingly interested about their favorite brands’ social presence (like a fan page on Facebook), and are turning to brands’ networks or communities on social sites for information about deals and inventory levels. Though the percentage of visitors arriving from social network sites is fairly small when compared to all online visitors—nearly 1 percent—it is gaining momentum, with Facebook dominating the space.

4) Facebook is changing the face of e-commerce. The social networking giant now carries 25 percent of all online display ad space. Owing to its low cost ads and 500 million plus user base, Facebook now appears to be on its way to becoming a major influence in the direct recommendation of the purchase of goods/services for the holidays as Facebook members are seen point out retail favorites to one another.

Shop well ! --------

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