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Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales down slightly by 0.5%, ShopperTrak reports

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — ShopperTrak on Saturday reported that sales at brick-and-mortar retailers were relatively flat as compared to last year, down 0.5% over Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday from the $12.4 billion tracked in 2013.
 
"We've seen an increase in Thanksgiving shopping over the past few years at the expense of Black Friday," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. "More stores are opening, and earlier, which has caused a shift in shopping patterns. While Thanksgiving store visits increased 27.3%, Black Friday was down about 5.6%."
 
Martin noted that the two-day sales spree is not necessarily a good predictor of the rest of the holiday spending season. "In 2013, the Black Friday weekend produced a 1% gain, underperforming the 3.1% gain for the entire season," he said. 
 

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More shoppers took to the Internet as the Thanksgiving holiday transpired

BY Michael Johnsen

 

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Internet traffic built from Thanksgiving Day through Saturday, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions. 
 
On Black Friday, Internet traffic attributed to online consumer retail shopping activities increased 12 points from the prior day. On Saturday, Internet traffic attributed to online consumer retail shopping activities increased 3 points from the prior day, making Saturday the highest day for online shopping activity since Wednesday.
 
“Consumers continue to set the tone for how and when they want to engage with retailers and they’re no longer limited to a specific day such as Black Friday or a set of days," said Michele Dupre, VP retail and hospitality at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "On Saturday, we also saw retailers thinking ahead to Cyber Monday by sending sneak-peak promotions which likely are increasing consumer interest as well.”
 
Year-over-year, Friday's results were down 3 points and Saturday’s results were down 1 point versus the first Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2013.
 
Designed to identify online traffic patterns in the United States that Verizon attributes to consumer retail shopping activity, the Verizon Retail Index measures average daily traffic and peak volumes from the Verizon IP network during the holiday season. Verizon will be updating the report daily.
 
 

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IBM: Use of mobile devices as holiday shopping tools up signficantly

BY Michael Johnsen

ARMONK, N.Y. — More shoppers are swiping their way to Thanksgiving holiday savings with mobile devices than ever before. In contrast to a National Retail Federation survey that found Thanksgiving overall holiday sales and shoppers in decline, IBM on Saturday reported record online and mobile shopping during Thanksgiving and Black Friday based on consumer transaction data analyzed in real-time by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. 
 
Overall Thanksgiving online sales were up 14.3% compared to 2013, IBM reported. Black Friday online sales were up 9.5% year-over-year with mobile devices accounting for one-in-four of all online purchases. Average order value on Thanksgiving was $125.25, down 1.8% over 2013; Black Friday was $129.37, down 4.4%.
 
For the first time, online traffic from mobile devices outpaced traditional PCs on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day reached a new mobile tipping point with browsing on smartphones and tablets accounting for 52.1% of all online traffic, IBM reported. Black Friday mobile sales accounted for 27.9% of total online sales, up 28.2% over 2013.
 
"Mobile has become the new Thanksgiving tradition as consumers find the best deals with their fingers as well as their feet," said Jay Henderson, director, IBM Smarter Commerce. "We saw retailers harness the power of data to engage shoppers, identifying the unique preferences of their customers while quickly capitalizing on online, mobile or in-store trends as they emerged."
 
As the new digital shopping companion for many consumers, smartphones drove 34.7% of all Black Friday online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 14.6% of all traffic.  When it comes to mobile sales tablets continue to win the shopping war, driving 16% of online sales compared to 11.8% for smartphones — a difference of 35.5%.  Tablet users also averaged $126.50 per order compared to $107.55 for smartphone users, a difference of 17.6%. When consumers did choose to use their PC or desktop, they spent more with an average order value of $135.33 compared to $116.02 for mobile shoppers, a difference of 16.6%.
   
Black Friday online sales were 63.5% higher than Thanksgiving Day.  This is a decrease from 2013, however, when it was 70% higher as Thanksgiving online sales continue to eat into Black Friday shopping.
 
Retailers sent an average of 5.3 emails on Black Friday 2014, decreasing more than 11% over the same period in 2013, as retail marketers continue to send more targeted — and less frequent — messages to shoppers. Open and click-through rates (when someone opens an email and clicks at least one link) were 12.9% and 2.4%, on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day, compared to 15.4% and 2.8% respectively, last year.
 
The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four retail categories this holiday season: 
 
  • Department Stores: Black Friday online sales grew by 22.9% over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25.7%. Average order value was $143.16, a decrease of 2.5% year-over-year;
  • Health and Beauty: Black Friday online sales grew by 56.9% over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 31.8%. Average order value was $72.78, an increase of 9.8% year-over-year;
  • Home Goods: Black Friday online sales grew by 43.2% over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 3.8%. Average order value was $238.46, an increase of 6.8% year-over-year; and
  • Apparel: Black Friday online sales grew by 22.6% over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25.2%. Average order value was $114.96, a decrease of 6.8% year-over-year.
 

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