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Monday, Dec. 1, 2008 at 7:38 am

Black Friday Results Are In, Are You Ready for CyberMonday?

By Bryan Eisenberg
December 1st, 2008

The first set of results are in. We’re not sure that these days will be representative of the entire season as in past years but we’ll take any good news we can get.

According to Comscore Black Friday sales were flat:

For the holiday season-to-date, $10.41 billion has been spent online, marking a 4-percent decline versus the corresponding days last year, while Black Friday saw $534 million in online spending, up 1 percent. For the combination of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, online sales were up 2 percent relative to last year.

We told several of our retail clients that third party payment options could be an important deciding factor this holiday season because consumers were going to be extra cautious with their credit cards. PayPal saw sales rise 26 percent on Black Friday. PayPal said its sales numbers reflected 12 percent of all U.S. e-commerce.

According to CoreMetrics:

The online retail sector in general registered drops in ecommerce activities… The number of page and product views across the online retail sector in general was down 8.55 and 8.29 percent respectively compared to Black Friday 2007, suggesting that online retailers are doing a poor job of directing people to browse through their selection of products. The 18 percent drop in average session length also demonstrates that retailers are struggling to keep customers on their sites. Retailers are having difficulty in converting visitors to buyers, as evidenced by weakness in shopping cart and order sessions percentages.

How was your Black Friday?

  • As a consumer, did you spend a lot and get great deals?
  • As a merchant were your sales encouraging or depressing?

Today is CyberMonday, there is still some time to make changes to your site so that you get the most sales this holiday season. Will you wait and see how the rest of the holiday season treats you or will you take action today?

Add Your Comments

Comments (17)

  1. Thank God, our sales are holding up pretty well since Thanksgiving. We started November down about 15% for the year, but the last few months were getting progressively worse. November started out almost 40% down.

  2. I made two business purchases I had been sitting on for a month, and spent 1/2 of what I would have spent otherwise for the same merchandise.

  3. Sales showed a small decline Sept-Oct possibly a result of the economic conditions however November was a record month thanks to an 11th hour rally over the holiday weekend. I beleive that consumer confidence is a wound that heals rather rapidly.

  4. As a consumer, I’d say I’m in “lock-down mode”. I’m shopping for the best deals possible, and delaying as much as possible. Black Friday, for me, meant buying items that were at clearance prices (or free with rebate.)

    Worse than the immediate spending downturn, I’d say the greatest impact of the recession is the newly discovered habit of being frugal (and being mindful of gas mileage, even though prices are down again).

  5. Its been depressing. I’ve spent months optimizing my site, making navigation, graphics, copy, and the checkout process cleaner (its not perfect, but a LOT better) Our customer service is excellent, and I have unshakable faith that my products are the best. I even threw in free shipping,And STILL…nothing.

    I’m going over the site today with a fine tooth comb, before major shopping starts.

  6. Carmin Austin, couldn’t access your site from the UK, is this at the root of your problems?

  7. Thursday Average

    Friday was a blast up 60%
    Sat up 40%
    Sun up 50%

  8. Hey Mark; we have had quite a few people coming in from the UK, I’m not sure why it won’t allow you to access the site. I’m looking into it right now, and thank you for the heads up!

  9. Carmin,

    I can’t really tell that you’ve been doing so much optimization. I looked through your website and can’t comment on your market but the website is not following almost any of the principles we teach.

    Have you read our book “Call To Action”?

  10. I picked up a copy of “Call to Action” months ago, and have been pouring through it and making changes: adding best sellers to the front page, using the we-we calculator on copy,consistent (and larger)fonts and hyperlinks,fresh original content at least three times a week, incorporating benefits instead of features, obvious and consistent navigation…

    It must look so different to professional eyes :)
    but I’m an artisan, not a web maven.

  11. Carmin, I think you should consult a web designer to help you iron out the look of your site. The content may be spot on, but I think it’s the visual feel of the site you may be having problems with.

  12. Thanks, will do!

  13. I’m looking forward to this holiday season to see how things shape up. I think 09 will be far different than 08 turned out.

  14. Not suprising paypal saw that kind of dramatic increase. Somebody said they had topped out a few years ago with all their eBay driving sucess. I told him I thought they weren’t even getting warmed up yet.

  15. Yes,people’s spending attitude takes an overdrive in holiday seasons.. Sales are sure to rise.

  16. Yeah well black friday means less and less every year. People are going online more and more, and that means no waiting in any lines anywhere!

  17. @ Christian

    Very true!

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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