There are a lot of interesting tea leaves — perhaps that’s peppermint tea, in the spirit of the season — to be read as the data comes in from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, that stretch of time formerly known as “Thanksgiving Weekend.
Foot traffic was up in the brick-and-mortar stores, yet on Black Friday itself, spending was down. A record 141 million people were expected to trod through stores over the holiday period, and shop online, and yet spending in the stores themselves was down. The National Retail Federation expected spending to dip for the first time since it began tracking Black Friday spending in 2006, falling around 2.9 percent, to a figure of $57.4 billion.
On the other hand, though, according to IBM Digital Analytics, Cyber Monday sales jumped a whopping 20 per cent from last year — at least, the number of online payments did that day
IBM also found more customers using smartphones than tablets to surf the web, and many businesses getting aggressive with “push” notices and online coupons, etc., to convince customers to spend.
According to one industry newsletter, “While the staggering increase in e-commerce activity on Cyber Monday is good news for online businesses, it is less joyful for primarily brick-and-mortar retailers. Small businesses without web presences, or with limited presences, are likely experiencing a decline in sales as consumers shift to purchasing online.”
One of the messages is clear: You need to be selling, and be available, online, if you’re not already. Whether it’s accepting online payments, electronic checks, or more, your customers — according to an AP report on Black Friday — are getting more savvy until they find what they’re looking for at a price they’re expecting to pay. Your customers, in other words, are getting sophisticated about how they shop, online and off, and you need to keep ahead of them.
AVPS can help you get there — not only in advance of next year’s Cyber Monday, but in time, still, for this holiday season. Call your rep today, and start thinking of memorable names for the remaining Fridays and Mondays of December!