Last Friday was a huge day for retailers in the US. It was "Black Friday", the day following Thanks Giving and the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. It has routinely been the busiest day of the year for retailers since 2005 with shops opening their doors to droves of eager customers as early as 4am. In 2011 this was taken to the next level with a number of big US retailers opening their doors at midnight.
"Cyber Monday" or "Mega Monday" is the Monday that follows Black Friday, created by companies to encourage people to shop online at Christmas and has become an internationally recognised marketing term. In 2010 comScore calculated that consumers spent over $1 billion dollars online on Cyber Monday and that it was the highest spending day online in 2010.
Memories of last year's adverse weather conditions and the delivery disruption this caused are tipped to get consumers spending much earlier in the 2011 Christmas shopping season.
Visa predicted UK online sales would peak on Monday, forecasting a total of 4.8 million transactions worth £303 million on its credit and debit cards. With Visa processing typically £1 of every £4 in the UK the wider picture is huge.
Taking a look at 3 retail clients performance Monday 28th November Vs Monday 21st November it is clear there was a very noticeable uplift.
|Unique Sales 21st||Unique Sales 28th||% Difference|
|Online Retailer A||2,105||4,344||+106.37%|
|Online Retailer B||1,215||2,210||+81.89%|
|Online Retailer C||4,457||6,149||+37.96%|
In 2011 online Christmas shopping is billed to dwarf previous years especially in the mobile commerce sector. Whilst shopping around on mobile devices to get the best deals was the norm in 2010 as much as 12.2% of sales will actually be purchased through mobile devices in 2011. This represents a colossal shift in purchasing behaviour as only a tiny proportion of actual sales were made through mobile handsets in 2010.
Online Christmas spending is estimated to be £13.4 billion in 2011 so for online retailers it looks like it will be a very merry Christmas indeed.