Positive Outlook for Online Retailers

Emily MacNair - December 7, 2010

In 2005, the Monday after Thanksgiving was named Cyber Monday by the National Retail Federation trade group to kick off the Holiday shopping season. The idea behind this was that shoppers will visit stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, and then on Monday when they return to work, they will shop online for additional deals.

This year, there was no doubt that online retailers made great efforts to attract customers to their websites. Extraordinary discounts were promoted leading up to and throughout Cyber Monday. Through the numbers, it seems as though many retailers’ efforts have paid off.  Sales were up 19.4% this Cyber Monday, reported by Coremetrics.  In addition, the average order value on Cyber Monday was $194.89, higher than last year’s average of $180.03. In particular, luxury goods retailers in particular saw a significant increase in sales this year.

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday typically are the two most well-known shopping days of the year, Thanksgiving Day was pretty successful as well. comScore reported that on Thanksgiving Day online holiday spending rose 28% percent to $407 million this year.  

Many retailers are not only focusing on email and paid search efforts to promote their deals. Social media is playing a much larger role than it has in the past this holiday season.  Large brands such as Amazon, Sports Authority’s and Sears are using social media to promote deals.  Facebook and Twitter in particular offer great opportunities to reach shoppers as they are spending time within their channel of choice.  As shoppers seem to be willing to spend a bit more this year, it would be advantageous to look to social media as another avenue to reach customers.

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