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Black Friday double digit growth

Black Friday online spending delivers double digit growth, reports IBM
Consumers flock to online stores for holiday deals and splurges

Melbourne – 2 December 2010 – The U.S. online retail sector delivered double digit growth on Black Friday 2010 compared to the same period last year, according to analytics-based findings by IBM (NYSE: IBM <> ). These findings expand on IBM’s earlier forecast that in-store sales of consumer electronics and appliances in U.S. retail stores would get an early start this year, with consumers spending a larger-than-usual share in November.

Delivered as part of Coremetrics, an IBM Company’s third annual Black Friday Benchmark Report, the analysis of the online retail sector reveals the following trends as of 12:00 am PST compared to Black Friday 2009 (year/year):

· Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up a healthy 15.9 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $170.19 to $190.80 for an increase of 12.1 percent.
· Luxury Goods Make a Comeback: Jewelry retailers reported a 17.6 percent increase in sales. These affluent shoppers appear very willing to open their wallets.
· Surgical Shopping: Consumers know what they want and where to get it. People are viewing 18.0 percent fewer products on sites than they did last year, suggesting that they are shopping with a specific item in mind and quickly moving on.
· Social Shopping: Consumers appear increasingly savvy about their favorite brands’ social presence, and are turning to their networks on social sites for information about deals and inventory levels. While the percentage of visitors arriving from social network sites is fairly small relative to all online visitors—nearly 1 percent—it is gaining momentum, with Facebook dominating the space.
· Mobile Shopping: Consumers are also embracing mobile as a shopping tool. On Black Friday, 5.6 percent of people logged onto a retailer’s site using a mobile device, a jump of 26.7 percent compared to the prior Friday.

“On Black Friday, consumers came, they clicked and they shopped their way across the Internet, and this time, they weren’t just looking for bargains,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Coremetrics. “Consequently, we’re watching online retail, and increasingly social media and mobile, become the growth engines for retailers everywhere as consumers embrace online shopping not only for its ease and convenience, but as a primary means of researching goods and services.”

Retail Categories
·     Department stores have become the research engine of choice for consumers looking for Black Friday deals and product promotions. As a consequence, shoppers are spending 17.7 percent more time year over year on department store sites.

·     Health and Beauty also reported a rise of 73.1 percent in the number of new consumers completing their first purchase on their sites and a 53.4 percent jump in the number of visits in which consumers completed an order.

·     In-Store Sales in the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Sector are expected to increase 3.5 percent this year compared to last, with consumers spending a larger-than-usual share in November, according to an analytics-based forecast from IBM’s Global Business Services division. U.S. consumers have been increasing their savings relative to disposable income, from 2 percent in 2007 to nearly 6 percent today, leading to strong pent-up demand this holiday season for consumer electronics and appliances, both of which are typically seen as necessities in the present-day economy.

These findings are based on data from Coremetrics Benchmark™, the only analytics-based, peer-level benchmarking solution that measures online marketing results, including real-time sales data. Benchmark leverages Coremetrics’ cloud-based web analytics platform to rapidly collect and analyse intelligence on how consumers are responding to the products and services being offered to them, enabling clients to make fact-based, accurate decisions on marketing expenditures. As a result, marketing teams can gain deeper insight about their consumers and present personalised recommendations, promotions and other sales incentives across the wide variety of channels—including social networks and mobile devices—where consumers interact with their brands.

Benchmark gathers data directly from the web sites of more than 500 leading U.S. retailers. All data is aggregated and anonymised. Bloomingdale’s, L’Occitane en Provence, Macy’s, PETCO and Ross-Simons are just a few of the participating companies.

1. Complete Coremetrics Black Friday Benchmark Report <>  (pdf)

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