The Thanksgiving weekend retail sales results are in and it looks like Americans are in the mood to shop this holiday season – if the price is right. And 2013 is also shaping up as the break-out year for shopping by mobile phone. Here are some highlights of the early returns:
- More than 141 million Americans shopped in stores or online over the long weekend, up slightly from 139 million last year, the National Retail Federation estimates. But their average estimated spend was $407.02, down from $423.55 last year. Some possible explanations for that drop: Retailers cut prices aggressively and many consumers started shopping earlier in November.
- Retail store openings on Thanksgiving night are controversial but effective: 25% of shoppers were at stores by 8 PM on Turkey Day, the NRF survey found.
- Consumers are open to shopping online or at brick and mortar stores in their search for bargains. While 42% shopped online over the weekend, the NRF found, 54% went to a department store and 39% visited a discount store.
- Consumers are also keeping an eye on all sources of information for sales: 33% searched online for discounts, 49% checked advertising circulars, 37% tracked emails from merchants, and 16% checked retailer Facebook pages.
- Online purchases on December 2, Cyber Monday, the traditional day for web discounts, grew 21% over last year, according to a survey of online retailers by IBM. But average order value dropped one percent to $128.77.
- The number of online purchases made with mobile phones increased 55% over 2012, IBM says, to top 17% of all online sales on Monday. And retailers greatly increased their use of “push notifications” to mobile phones, the alerts that consumers can elect to receive from their favorite merchants, up 77% over earlier in 2013.
Overall, the National Retail Federation is sticking with its prediction that holiday season sales will increase by nearly 4% from last year’s level to $609 billion. But to get your share, keep those promotions and discounts coming – and reach out to customers on their mobile phones!