The ubiquity of portable devices is helping shoppers to expand the traditional holiday shopping season. Instead of waiting until Cyber Monday—the Monday after Thanksgiving—one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, consumers are now heavily cyber shopping from Black Friday on.
Cyber Monday appears to encompass the entire holiday season, with consumers using their mobile devices to shop whenever and wherever they choose, no longer waiting for Thanksgiving to hunt for Internet deals, according to ComScore Inc. data. Because of intense cyber commerce in recent years, Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc. are going head-to-head with stores such as Macy’s Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. with online promotions and mobile applications that are bringing in tech savvy shoppers well before and well after Cyber Monday.
Consider this, one-third of the average shopping traffic, per month and for key sellers such as Amazon, EBay, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Target Corp., is from mobile devices, according to ComScore. What’s more:
- 2013: By November 18th, 10 percent of shoppers completed their holiday purchases, a ceiling typically reached over the Black Friday weekend, according to NPD Group.
- 2013: Third quarter mobile device cyber shopping grew twice-fold—this August, Internet shoppers used their mobile devices more than their desktops for the first time ever, according to ComScore.
- 2013: Online holiday sales will rise 15 percent—$82 billion—in excess of three times quicker than the total 3.9 percent gain to $602.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.
- 2013: Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is projected to gross 25 percent of sales in the last quarter, according to Bloomberg data.
- 2012: Thanksgiving Day shopping rose 32 percent over 18 percent in 2011.
- 2012: Cyber Monday sales dropped to 17 percent from 22 percent in 2011, according to ComScore.
Expect stores to offer increased holiday deals for mobile device users and expect shoppers to be looking for, and taking advantage, of these deals. “I used to look at Black Friday deals and see what was happening, but after this year I know I can get deals all the time, so I’m no longer concerned,” said shopper, Cristin Zweig. “If you get 15 percent more off if you buy through your mobile app, that’s a bigger incentive for me,” she noted. “It now becomes more of a bell curve, where things start much sooner and end later,” said Steve Yankovich, vice president of innovation and new ventures at EBay. “It’s more fuzzy because we can shop so many more ways and have products fulfilled in more ways,” he added.
- EBay is increasing its mobile app features to individually tailor the consumer shopping experience and just released RedLaser, a mobile shopping app that enables consumers to compare various store prices. Mobile shoppers should expect to see coupons and discounts.
- Amazon’s Black Friday sale starts one day earlier with increased deals and gift ideas once every 10 minutes and a record number of mobile offerings, said spokeswoman, Julie Law, who added, “We are significantly increasing the volume of deals throughout the holiday season, not just on peak days.”
- Sears will roll out increased mobile promotions earlier, starting a holiday bonus on November 1st with 10 percent loyalty points throughout the holiday season and mobile coupons, according to spokesman Brian Hanover. The app allows consumers to ping the store to advise employees of their parking spot for no greater than 5 minute consumer product drop-off. “It’s one of our more aggressive offers ever,” said Hanover. “Mobile is the glue to seamless offline and online e-commerce.”
Smaller stores are stepping up cyber sales promotions, as well and consumers can expect to see really good shopping deals over a longer period of time this holiday season. In fact, many retailers believe that Cyber Monday 2013—with the kick-off officially starting on Black Friday Week—will be the greatest online buying day in history, increasing by more than 20 percent to $2 billion, according to ComScore data.
Bloomberg.com; Cyber Monday Every Day as iPhone Users Shun Retail Stores; by Danielle Kucrea; November 25, 2013.