Don’t fall for the hype around e-commerce sales

SUMMARY: Despite what you read e-commerce sales are only 13.4% of total holiday sales. The reason “Black Friday” wasn’t as popular as before is that it has been replaced with Black November.

In the United States, Christmas shopping season traditionally begins on Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day. In 2018, holiday season retail e-commerce spending in the United States amounted to 119.54 billion U.S. dollars with the most money being spent online on Cyber Monday. That year, Cyber Monday became the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever with close to 7.9 billion U.S. dollars in online spending. In 2019 but it’s only 13.4% of total holiday sales.

Spot checks on the ground showed there were fewer shoppers this year as retail chains started offering discounts earlier than usual to make up for a shorter holiday season this year.  Why?

1ne: Black Friday is now Black November.

2wo: The media has portrayed Black Friday as a mass of people looking for discounts.

3hree: Despite the hype of online sales, people still have to careful as bargains are not necessarily what they seem.

Laptops have become a confusing category for shoppers as an example. The low prices advertised on some Dell XPS and Macbook Air models are for the lower resolution screens. The “retina display” or 4K models are still pricey.

Then there are the system crashes. It’s estimated that Costco lost over $11 million in sales as its website crashed. I guess Costco never heard of load testing.

It’s true that some offline retailers, like Kohl’s, are in trouble but that has more to do with not their failure to give shoppers a reason to shop there. Stores like Target and Wal*Mart are doing very well,

Finally, we are forgetting that a LOT of people like to shop offline. It gets them in the Christmas spirit and they can compare products in person.

So don’t be swayed by the fact that eCommerce sales are grabbing the headlines. Offline is still huge by comparison.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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