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Black Friday Numbers Down, Cyber Monday Recovery?

Cyber MondayAlthough Black Friday was not a complete disaster, sales tumbled 11%. As such, many retailers are hoping that Cyber Monday will save the day. Now that in-store shopping is done, an estimated one million Americans will log online in an effort to find great sales on the day known as “Cyber Monday”.

Since 2010, the Monday following Thanksgiving has been the busiest online shopping day of the year and because there were fewer shoppers out an about on Black Friday than expected, which led to lower spending, this is a critical day for retailers.

For over a month, retailers have been pushing deals hard, primarily over the course of the last week as they try to encourage shoppers to buy and spend more. According to comScore, a reputable research firm, approximately $2.5 billion will be spent by consumers on Cyber Monday.

In a statement from the online payment giant PayPal, the volume of global mobile payment climbed a whopping 47% on Thanksgiving compared to 2013. For Wal-Mart, over 500 million pages of advertisements were viewed on Thanksgiving while eBay sold 2,000 of the iPad Air 2 tablets at a rate of one per second for a price of $399.

Since November 21, Amazing has been offering incredible deals and about every 10 minutes, has added additional discounts over eight consecutive days. Some of the biggest deals include 28% off Beats by Dre headphones that are being sold for just $275 and a 45% discount on select Samsung televisions.

Wal-Mart confirmed that Cyber Week deals had doubled to 500 compared with numbers from 2013, which includes toys, certain televisions, and toys being shipped free. Online deals are also being offered by Toys R Us over the course of 11 days that started the day before Thanksgiving. One of their greatest deals was $15 off the $50 price of Disney “Frozen” princess dolls.

The term Cyber Monday was first coined in 2005 by Shop.org, an extension of the National Retail Federation. The term was used as a method of encouraging consumers to make purchases online. After major marketing, Cyber Monday quickly became the busiest day for online shopping in 2010.

This past Thanksgiving, 5.3% fewer shoppers headed to retailers and of those, 11% spent less. This means that Cyber Monday is a really big deal and while there is a lot of power behind it days prior to starting, it has not yet reached its full potential. As stated by Sucharita Mulpuru with Forester Research, more people spending money online.

Mulpuru believes there will be two big spikes pertaining to online shopping. The first will be over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, which includes Cyber Monday, and the second one will be in December as shipping deadlines near.

Online sales are expected to increase by 16% to $61 billion during the months of November and December as stated by comScore. With this, it would be a 16% increase over last year’s numbers. The overall holiday sales forecast by the National Retail Federation is that a 4.1% increase in sales will occur, hitting $616.9 billion.

All the amazing discounts on clothing items and electronics were not enough to entice shoppers to come out on Black Friday. As such, the retail industry is under tremendous pressure to boost revenue in the last few weeks of the 2014 holiday season.

In spite of aggressive discounts, Thanksgiving Day simply did not reach expectations. With consumer spending down $50.9 billion within the past four days, this lower than 2013’s number of $57.4 billion, it is not up to Cyber Monday to get consumers to buy. However, some experts do not feel that online shopping will save traditional retail shopping. Even though the number of online orders is increasing, they are still far less than those through standard in-person sales.

The other concern is that Cyber Monday is beginning to dim somewhat. In looking at current numbers, it is apparent that this shopping day is not up to par. For this holiday season, $22.7 billion has been spent online, which is up 15% from 2013 but more than $1.5 billion of that includes sales from Black Friday.

The bottom line is that while there are improvements in the job market and gas prices are down, many Americans are still holding the reins of holiday shopping tight. While Cyber Monday will certainly help retailers, with predictions regarding the number of online shoppers being down from last year, it shows that Americans are not as enticed by one-day sales events as retailers would like.

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