Cyber Shopping Trends for the Holidays 2010
Forget Black Friday, the cyber world is where shoppers flock to when opening their wallets and checking off their holiday gift list. Although Cyber Monday was initially coined to mark the unofficial kickoff for the online shopping season, research indicates that consumers started their holiday spending as early as Thanksgiving day, as the sleepless internet is always open for business.
The Cyber Holiday Pulse Index, an annual tracking system of online shopping during the holidays, shows a significant increase in online transactions for the five frenzy-filled shopping days starting with Black Friday, reaching over $400 million in sales for the top 50 largest internet retailers. This amounts to a staggering 37 percent increase in transactions since last year. On Cyber Monday alone, total sales for all U.S. retailers topped $1 billion, a 16 percent increase since last year.
A sign of brighter economic times? Perhaps. But the energetic influx of online customers may also be an indication of the web’s prowess in terms of connecting with consumers and creating a more hassle-free shopping experience (ie. no threats of being run down by a mob of deal-hungry street shoppers in cyberland, nor the requirement to wake up at 2 a.m. in preparation for store openings). Nearly 90 percent of U.S. retailers offered some kind of Cyber Monday promotion this year, which is up from 72 percent in 2007.
Retailers are taking advantage of the web to reach more consumers and extend shopping hours. By accessing Twitter, Facebook and e-mail, e-tailers are communicating with their customers and continuing to feed off of the hype that is Cyber Monday.
Clearly, the holiday shopping season has gotten off to a strong start, and researchers predict that online sales will continue to grow until the end of the year, which is just another demonstration of how the virtual shopping world is on track in meeting the demands of today’s busy (and in some cases, mall-phobic) modern consumer.
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