What were the important retail trends from Black Friday 2014? Depends who you ask.
IBM said (in Forbes yesterday - Dec. 4), mobile shopping went up this year: "On Black Friday, online sales were up 9.5 percent with mobile devices accounting for one-in-four online purchases," wrote IBM's Kevin Bishop.
"Thanksgiving online sales rose 14.3 percent from the year-earlier period, while mobile sales increased 25.4 percent."
I understand that more and more people are shopping on mobile devices these days (especially on tablets), but I'm not sure it's as big of a deal as IBM is making it out to be. To me, it's all online shopping. More people are buying tablets than PCs nowadays, so this is just a byproduct of that trend, really.
In an unrelated story, Forbes' Barbara Thau reported yesterday (Dec. 4) that recent credit card breaches of major retailers' databases may have dissuaded online Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers this year.
"The early read on Black Friday sales are disappointing," she wrote. "Overall shopper traffic from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Nov. 30 dropped 5.2% to 133.7 million unique shopper visits versus 2013, according to a spending survey by the National Retail Federation. The average person who shopped the holiday weekend will have spent $380.95, down 6.4% from $407.02 last year, the NRF predicts."
Meanwhile, she notes, KPMG found that consumers remain wary of chains whose databases were breached.
"More than a quarter (27%) of the 1,400 U.S. consumers surveyed in November by KPMG said they would only shop at a store that previously experienced a cyber attack if they could not find the product elsewhere —with 8% refusing to shop at these stores at all.
"In addition, more than half of the consumers surveyed said they were either unsure of — or lacked any confidence in — the security of their personal information when shopping both in-store (58%) and online (63%)."
Finally, the Associated Press reported today that shoppers were generally less inclined to spend on Black Friday alone this year, opting to look for deals offered in the remaining weeks before Christmas.
"ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based consumer analytics company that tracks data at malls and stores but not online sites, said earlier this week that sales for the four-day weekend slipped 2.1 percent to $21.76 billion," wrote the AP's Anne D'Innocenzio.
"Cyber Monday deals are also being stretched out into 'Cyber Week' and even earlier, crimping sales on the day itself. Sales rose 8.5 percent that day, the Monday after Thanksgiving, according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. But that wasn't as strong as was expected."