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01 Dec


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Holiday Sales Prompt Major Increase in Online Spending [Statistics]

December 1, 2011 | By | No Comments

I have only been to one actual Black Friday sale, it was several years ago and I have not been shopping on that day ever since.

The store was packed when they let everyone standing in the line outside fill the store. Once in the store you find yourself in fear of other shoppers rather than finding what you are looking for in the first place. By the time you get around to where you needed to be in the store they are completely sold out of the product, in like 10 minutes! Watching recently posted YouTube videos of Black Friday Chaos reassures me that not much has changed, except for the emergence of Cyber Monday (Cyber Monday Online Spending Increased by 33% between 2010 and 2011) and major deal days for online shoppers.

According to the IBM Benchmark Black Friday Report 2011, Thanksgiving Day spending online grew by almost 40% this year.  Black Friday also saw a 24.3% increase in spending online from the previous year. Why was there such a big increase in spending online in only one year?

A big reason is the emergence of mobile devices; IBM’s Report shows that mobile sales tripled this year (2010: 3.2%, 2011: 9.8%). You can find mobile devices anywhere for a fair price and with companies focusing on building useful applications for their customers to use on their devices, shopping and other activities have been made much easier. I don’t need to fight crowds at 5 a.m. to find what I am looking for on sale!

Most companies are catching on and allowing customers to get the same benefits they would at the store from shopping online.  Also you can ship to their store or some merchants even provide free shipping on those select days, eliminating that cost.

Another reason for more online shopping is that people are becoming more user friendly with online purchases. Most merchants are using Trusted/ Verified payment processing services which allow for quick turnaround (faster reporting and they can send receipts straight to your email) without the fear of identity theft.

It really comes down to: How much easier is it to buy a product online you don’t need immediately by simply typing in your credit card and shipping information into the vendor’s database? I think that sounds much better than being trampled for a video game or television at Wal-Mart.

Michael F. Lewis II is a Social Media Consultant and Marketing Analyst for Social Strategy1.  He contributes several blogs weekly to the SS1 site.  Connect with Michael on Twitter via @mlewii.

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