Week in Review: Is Black Friday’s Demise Over Exaggerated?

The Multichannel Merchant editorial team has been talking a lot amongst itself about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the alleged demise – and rebirth – of both super shopping days.

One thing we’ve noticed is that Cyber Monday is still kind of a big deal. Even though the initial intent of Shop.org in 2005 was to create a shopping day for online retailers, and it was during a time when customers had an easier time shopping from their work computers because of high-speed Internet access, total ecommerce spend on the Monday after Thanksgiving continues to grow (it was more than $2 billion in 2014).

But Cyber Monday is no longer the biggest U.S. ecommerce shopping day of the year, according to SimilarWeb.  That honor now belongs to Black Friday, which in the United States’ traditional shop-till-you-drop day for in-store deals (and a few too many fist fights). Black Friday saw 274 million combined desktop and mobile visits across ecommerce sites in the U.S., while Cyber Monday which saw 261 million visits in 2014.

Interestingly enough, a survey by BestBlackFriday.com, 63% of respondents said Black Friday doesn’t offer the most unbeatable bargains of the year. Also of note, shoppers are buying for the holidays earlier and earlier: The National Retail Federation’s Consumer Holiday Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, shows that 56.6% of those celebrating the holidays had already started shopping by early November, up from 54.4% last year.

Retailers are also going all Black Friday earlier to capture the holiday shopper. Like Gander Mountain with its Camo Thursday event, and Costco with its “Pre-Thanksgiving Savings” event.

Circling back to the SimilarWeb study: While Thanksgiving Day has quickly become the third-most popular cyber shopping day of the year in the U.S., you won’t believe what day comes in at number four

Intro by Managing Editor Tim Parry… and here’s 5 reasons to follow him on Twitter!

Here’s a look at this weeks’ news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world… and more…

Marketing

share-this-icon-75X75Fashion ecommerce site Lyst launched first advertising campaignBelk is spreading holiday cheer once again this year with the launch of its Santa Baby sweepstakes….Curalate joined the Instagram Partner Program, a new program that distinguishes companies and their capabilities to run effective advertising campaigns…

Ecommerce

Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Bungalow Clothing announced the launch of an online high-end personal styling serviceBungalow Clothing was co-founded by singer and songwriter John Legend… An infographic by Dynatrace showed by retailers need to adapt to millennial shoppersIDI will acquire Fluent for $100 million and 15,000,000 shares of common stock… dotmailer’s multichannel automation platform achieved Magento Commerce Platinum Technology Partner status… Fittery says it is the only ecommerce marketplace that matches shoppers to clothing that really fits through its proprietary “FitMatch” approach… A new ACI Worldwide benchmark data of top global retailers reveals surge in card-not-present fraud activity, and warns of new pathways to fraud in EMV environment… SMITH will redesign Cansel.ca and launch Cansel’s B2B commerce platform on hybris from the ground up including strategy, experience design, solution delivery, hosting and post solution support…

Operations

shipping-delivery-75X75With help from Postmates, Apple is launching same-day delivery in New York. … A number of companies announced new distribution center projects and openings, including Western Power SportsDollar GeneralFedEx and CEVA Logistics. … Amazon has expanded its Prime Now same-day delivery to Nashville and more areas in the UK, including Scotland. … DHL announced a series of leadership changes, including a new Americas CEO.

… And more

news

It appears consumers are buying big-ticket items, and are not spending big bucks on clothing: Both Lowe’s and The Home Depot had much better quarters than expected… Amazon’s hiring of 100,000 seasonal workers reflects the role of ecommerce in the retail world…. Liberty Interactive Corp. is spinning off drop shipping provider CommerceHub and Expedia Holidings, the latter including Bodybuilding.com. … Electronic payment and banking solutions providers ACI Worldwide plans to acquire ecommerce payment gateway company PAY.ON… Kohls announced that former Walgreens ecommerce president Sona Chawla is its new Chief Operating Officer… Privacy advocates are questioning the use of facial recognition in stores… Electronics seller Best Buy hopes appliance sales will help drive significant revenue…

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