It happens every year, the moment that Thanksgiving feasts are finished and the relatives head home for the night, holiday shopping has already begun. Lines have formed outside stores before some families have even finished dessert.
Overall, this Black Friday was huge for online sales, which saw a 26 percent increase compared with 2010 and $816 million in online sales. Not surprising, considering that shopping from a computer minimizes the risk of being stampeded to death or pepper sprayed by ambitious deal-seekers. In fact, it marked the biggest online shopping day to date in 2011, a short reign before the Cyber Monday numbers rolled in.
Cyber Monday exceeded the already successful Black Friday in nearly every aspect. This year’s Cyber Monday topped 2010 online sales numbers by 33 percent, a significant increase considering spending last year hit $1 billion. Not bad for a gimmick thought up in 2005 to jumpstart online holiday sales. This year’s spending of $1.25 million is nothing to joke about.
Social media also played a huge role in this year’s shopping successes. Tweets and posts about huge deals and hype around Black Friday were up 110 percent from last year, and up 115 percent from last year for Cyber Monday. These posts included warnings against several online scams that hit shoppers.
Mobile numbers went up for sales, but also served as a personal buyer’s guide. Users researched reviews and utilized store locators to assist in their Black Friday shopping spree. Mobile purchasing made up 9.8 percent of online sales and 14.3 percent of all Black Friday traffic. In this case, Black Friday numbers topped Cyber Monday, in which mobile users averaged 10.8 percent for traffic and 6.6 percent for online sales.
Amazon is the big winner
We’ve seen a lot of news about Amazon lately, particularly regarding impressive products such as the Kindle Fire and the Amazon music store, which are holding strong in their respective markets. But this holiday season, Amazon is proving it can still exceed expectations in the online sales department. On the biggest Black Friday yet, Amazon schooled online retailers by bringing in 50 percent more traffic and leading in sales. Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple (in that order) ranked in the top five with double-digit gains compared with last year. While the numbers aren’t in yet, we predict that Amazon will remain a big winner through Cyber Monday, as they continued to offer specials and hourly promotions throughout the week.