Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Internet Sales Soar

Cyber Monday is widely regarded as the Super Bowl of online sales. This year's Cyber Monday did not disappoint, as it set record online retail sales and retained its status as the biggest online shopping day of the year. In fact, since the creation of "Cyber Monday" in 2005, each year has topped the year before in online sales, and there aren't signs of slowing the growth either. This year's Cyber Monday sales grew by 18% from last year. Those numbers could be higher, however, if companies were not dragging the sales out over the entire week. Over the last couple years we have seen a shift, as "Black Friday" has become "Black Weekend", and "Cyber Monday" is becoming "Cyber Week". Companies are beginning their sales earlier and keep them going longer. Because of this, we can no longer accurately analyze growth for Black Friday or Cyber Monday by looking at Friday's or Monday's sales figures independently.

In fact, according to an article by CNN Money, Black Friday sales fell 13.2% from last year. However, if you look at "Black Weekend", which spans Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, cumulative sales actually crept up 1% compared to last year. Stores like Toys 'R' Us, WalMart, Target, and Best Buy opened their doors on Thanksgiving Thursday, which significantly cut into the traditional Black Friday sales. But this only partly explains the odd distribution of sales over Black Weekend. The main culprit is online sales channels. Black Friday is no longer a one-day event, nor is it limited to brick and mortar establishments. In fact, we are beginning to see a shift as sales are going cyber. According to IBM's 2013 Black Friday Report, mobile traffic for Black Friday grew to nearly 40% of all online traffic, which is an increase of 34% from last year. Mobile sales reached 22% of total online sales, which is an increase of nearly 43% from last year. Retailers that catered to online customers found much success. Amazon and Ebay were extremely successful this year siphoning customers from brick and mortar stores. While brick and mortar black weekend sales rose just 1% from last year, sales on Amazon's and Ebay's marketplaces rose 30% on the weekend of deals from last year. The future of "Black Weekend" and "Cyber Week" is going cyber.


Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

I find it interesting how certain items on sale during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc are specifically made for these sales periods. For example, consider an HDTV. For many retailers, these televisions are a major point of focus for the holiday shopping sprees, in terms of good deals or ads focused on the product. According to this article (for some reason, my hyperlink won’t copy over, so here’s the address for the article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/11/27/dont-buy-a-tv-on-black-friday/3768903/), many of these TVs are either a stripped down and lower quality version of a popular brand, or they are unknown discount brands that also have lower quality. The “great deals” may or may not actually be bargains. It is interesting to see how products or brands are designed for this relatively small (albeit large in terms of sales dollars) shopping time period.

Dave Tufte said...

Mazer: 100/100
Bob: 50/50

Mazer, this is a description of data. Where is the ManEc?

Let me get you started. Why would we care about revenue? Shouldn't we care about profit? Even better, shouldn't we care about economic profits?

Part of what you should be learning in this class is to recognize news articles that clearly aren't written by people who understand economics, and then to use your MBA experience to fill in the blanks. I don't see that in the post, or in Bob's comment.

FWIW: Mazer, is there some other kind of Thanksgiving that does not fall on Thursday?