2008 Holiday Online Shopping Analysis

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Depending on where you choose to get your news, you are getting many different reports on how retail and online, ecommerce companies did over the Black Friday weekend. The main reason for the discrepancy is it all depends on how you view the information. For consumers, it was an average to good Black Friday. For retailers, both traditional and online, it wasn’t so good. Let me explain why.At first glance you would assume it was a better-than-average Black Friday. The numbers show that overall sales increased 3% from 2007. Not to mention that shoppers also spend 7% more than they did in 2007. Those are all good signs, right? Maybe not…The consumer had an average-to-good Black Friday. One of the main reasons it was so good for the consumer was that most retailers were giving deep discounts in order to drive potential ”buyers” to their store or web site. Both traditional and online retails adopted the ”deep discount” theory in order to drive traffic. Shoppers spend an average of $372.57 Friday through Sunday, up 7.2% from 2007.Therefore, the early shopper was able to get more items at a cheaper price than in previous years. Another plus for early shoppers is they did more of their Holiday shopping in order to take advantage of these discounts. Surveys show that 39.3% of people have already finished all their holiday shopping, opposed to 36.4% last year.For traditional retailers, the numbers weren’t so good. In one area they were able to accomplish their goal; they were able to get buyers into their stores. The only problem is they did it by slashing prices and taking on the ”deep discount” theory. This greatly reduced their potential profit margin. Another bad piece of information for retailers was more people have already completed their holiday shopping.This means the consumer bought more at a cheaper price.The online retailers had many of the same problems as the traditional retailers. Check out the chart below for all the online Black Friday information:Description
Black Friday Black Friday
Change2008 2007Shopping cart sessions. The percentage
in which visitors placed at least one 10.80%
10.75% .05%
item in their shopping cart.Order sessions. The percentage of sessions
in which visitors completed an order 3.49%
3.55% (.06%)Average time on site. The average length of time a visitor spent per session
517.27 632.33
(18.20%)Average number of items purchased per 4.56
4.45 .11
orderAverage value or cost of each order$126.04 $134.29
($8.25)As you can see from the information above online retailers didn’
t fare well this weekend either. They were able to get people to their site, but the people spent significantly less time on the site. Even though people were purchasing more items that in 2007, due to the discounts the average value or cost of each order was down. The only online stores that fared far better this year than last year was online jewelry stores. These stores typically sell everything from Wedding Rings to Costume Jewelry and Celebrity Inspired Jewelry. They experienced an increase in order sessions, average time on site and number of items purchased.The big winner this Black Friday was the consumer. So if you got out there and did your shopping early, congratulations. We will just have to hope that retailers can find a way to keep traffic coming to their stores without giving the store away.

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