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Web Sales Down on Black Friday?

   
3:16 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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EBay was the online winner this "Black Friday," data published on Saturday showed, but overall Internet traffic growth was well below last year's even as bargain hunters tracked down sought-after toys and electronics on the Web before "Cyber Monday."

Overall traffic to the Nielsen/Net Ratings Holiday eShopping Index, which tracks more than 120 online retailers, rose 12 percent on the Friday after Thankgiving over the same day last year, according to the online audience measurement firm.

That is significantly below the 29 percent growth in overall traffic to the index from 2004 to 2005 and more in line with 11 percent growth seen from 2003 to 2004.

Web Sales Down on Black Friday? [today.reuters.co.uk]

3:36 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is pretty US-specific but then again, so is the topic, right?

I remember the media reporting/instructing last year that "the way people shop" is to do research in the brick and mortar store and buy online.

I'm also thinking that maybe all the news hype about waiting outside stores this year has got people stuck on thinking about shopping at the strip mall.

Haven't read, seen, or heard very many stories about online shopping this year at all. It's all about who's waiting outside stores to buy gaming systems . . . and then sell them on eBay for twice the price.

3:39 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Cyber Monday is usually one of the busiest days of the year as everyone goes back to work and gets on the internet to find things they could not in the store. All of our sites were actually busy on Saturday and Sunday. Those seem to be the best days.
3:41 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Earlier today it was explained to me by someone at a company with insight into billions spent online that Black Monday was the 7th largest day for online sales in 2005. Maybe Black Monday sales are not down...they were never there to begin with.
3:48 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Haven't read, seen, or heard very many stories about online shopping this year at all.

Walked by the TV and the local news had a huge piece about Cyber Monday and all the online bargains to be found on the web. The announcer correctly pointed out that Cyber Monday occurs about a week before online sales peak.

OTOH, we've been deluged with news about game system holdups and shopping mall crime.

Actually I think the web is getting a ton of great "press." The creation of the idea of Cyber Monday was a brilliant piece of PR by someone a few years ago.

4:22 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Black Friday sales were good and up from last year, but not at the same growth level that the rest of November was trending.
4:31 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Was expecting sales to be strong today, but so far - its very slow. I keep hearing from old men on TV that the economy is good, but I just am not seeing it. Its definitely not 1999/2000.
4:40 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Our busiest day online is usually a Monday between the 1st - 10th of December.

I'm expecting the 4th or the 11th of December this year to be my busiest day.

I guess it also depends on what product you sell and how quickly you ship your items.

6:10 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For us friday's sales were rocking mostly due to a huge increase in conversion rate.

Even with an overall 11% increase in traffic I'm sure the uptick in conversions will bring overall sales to a 25% growth figure for the holiday shopping season. As people get more and more comfortable with shopping on the web they are more and more willing to pull the trigger. For the next few years traffic won't be able to increase with sales volume, it's going to be made up with a high growth in conversions.

6:14 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Cyber Monday must have been something someone came up with at 2am after a long night out. It didn't amount to anything special last year & wouldn't expect it to be anything big this year either. There is no time constraint to online shopping at least not this early in the season, you'll probably find better deals closer to the actual holidays so why would it be expected that people would rush to buy stuff online more so today as opposed to any other day up until about Dec 17-20th?
8:08 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, I just heard about "Cyber Monday" on National Public Radio with the announcer saying that "webmaster have improved their sites and started promotions."

That's the kind of press we need.

9:14 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Got the following on an email. We are experiencing a surge for sure. I also note that WallMart.com fell over, unable to cope with the demand.

"overall e-commerce spending is ballooning so far this year. It totaled $434 million Friday--up 42% from the same day last year, according to comScore. Traffic also increased--though more modestly, according to data from both Nielsen//NetRatings and Hitwise. Nielsen//NetRatings reported that traffic to the 120-plus sites on its holiday retail index surged 12% on the day after Thanksgiving, while Hitwise reported that visits to the 100 sites on its index were up by just 2.7% from the previous year. Hitwise did find a bigger increase--11.8%--on Thanksgiving Day."

10:18 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> This is pretty US-specific

Oh, yes. Don't have the faintest idea what you are all talking about. Just like last year, I expect my busiest day (bandwidth) to be "bloody sunday" christmas eve: 100% growth in traffic from people seeking means to fold widgets for their dinner table.

Seems as if this year quite a lot of the younger relatives of those ladies have come back and ordered in May/June for their wedding.

Long-term customer-binding...

10:26 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Slightly off topic, but somedays I wish they'd fire headline writers everytime they got something wrong.

Headline: "Web Sales Down on Black Friday"

In the story itself: "Overall traffic to the Nielsen/Net Ratings Holiday eShopping Index, which tracks more than 120 online retailers, rose 12 percent on the Friday after Thankgiving over the same day last year, according to the online audience measurement firm."

Only in "headline world" is an increase of 12% "down"...

11:36 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Maybe they are saying traffic up, sales down?
11:39 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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skibum,

No, the point seems to be that the rate of increase dropped. It only increased 12% rather than the 29% increase last year. Thus, its "down" in their strange world.

11:53 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hitwise reported that visits to the 100 sites on its index were up by just 2.7%

I'm guessing the most pessimistic stat is the true story. Almost all of these stories come from resources that benefit from the appearance of a vibrant web economy.

No one's mentioning how much more sites paid for advertising this year... up a lot probably.

12:00 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One more thing. Our traffic has been down most of the year but revenues are strong... more real buyers but fewer surfers kicking tires. Traffic says little about conversion rates or average order size. I'll bet both figures will be up nicely this year for most of us. (I hope)
12:21 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one's mentioning how much more sites paid for advertising this year... up a lot probably.

Some of the stuff I've seen indicates that at least some of the online ad markets have flattened. I seem to recall 1-800-flowers noting that the market for PPC in their space was no longer insane.

Our PPC spend has been flat but with significant revenue growth. It took us three years to figure it out though. I wouldn't want to enter my space as a new venture today - it would be brutal.

2:00 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Very strong sales all last week, even on Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday was way up from last year. Today (Monday) was a record breaker.
2:43 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We had been averaging around a 60% growth rate for all of November, but over the last 4 days, it has dropped to about a 30% growth rate. We are still having record days, but the growth has indeed slowed.
3:19 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been selling online for almost a decade, and the peak in sales for me has always been right after Christmas - and into January. Bargain hunters come out - Those with new Computers come out - and those with Christmas money come out. Many times the peak will last until the Tax return season.
3:35 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Same experience here, January in particular often tends to be better than anything leading up to it.
10:16 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This whole business of Black Friday and Cyber Monday must be very industry specific on the Internet. My retail site is very much family oriented, especially to women who buy for their children, husbands, and relatives and themselves. For the 6 years I have been in business, Black Friday and followingSat are slower than the days prior to T-Day, and slower than the norm for Nov; Biggest sale day in this B Friday to C Monday period is always Sunday of that weekend, when I get a real rush of orders; Cyber Monday this year was almost equal to Sunday, a rush, but not better than Sunday, and not all that I would have expected given the hype associated with the name.
6:45 am on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For us its kind of a non-event ...Black Friday is just a regular day..Cyber Monday is pretty average as well...Our peak period is generally Feb-May... I wish we would BOOM through Christmas...but I imagine thats all related to the type of products you sell.....
10:24 am on Nov 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Our sales have gone up due to Christmas, but we really are not trying to push it this year.

One of the biggest issues that will effect your Xmas sales is posting a summary of your holiday shipping schedule on every page

We enjoy the extra earnings during Xmas but welcome when the 24/7 workload slows a bit

 

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