Posts

Cyber Monday

Consumers Spent $9.4 Billion During Cyber Monday This Year

The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off with one of the most chaotic weekends for retail and online stores everywhere. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and finally Cyber Monday truly did set the tone for how intense holiday gift shopping is looking to be in the coming month. According to data curated by Adobe, Cyber Monday in particular broke e-commerce records, as shoppers in the United States spent about $9.4 billion online this year! 

According to the same data, Americans spent close to $1.5 billion more than they did last year; granted $3 billion of the money spent this year was on smartphones alone, another record broken for the smartphone industry. Technology has truly developed and thrived this year, so it makes sense that a hefty percentage of spending was on smartphones and other electronics that were on sale this Monday. 

During the peak times of online traffic, consumers were collectively spending $12 million every minute. After this weekend, US online shoppers have spent close to $82 billion since the beginning of November on their holiday shopping.  Representatives from Adobe said that the original forecast for Cyber Monday Sales didn’t exceed $8 billion, even with the massive amount of money consumers have already spent before this past weekend. 

Embed from Getty Images

“That’s despite very aggressive pricing on the part of online sellers. “Retailers unlocked sales earlier to combat a shorter shopping season, while continuing to drive up promotion of the big branded days including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in,” said John Copeland, head of Marketing and Consumer Insights at Adobe, in a statement.

Embed from Getty Images

According to Tech Crunch Magazine, the top items sold this year on Cyber Monday included Frozen 2 merchandise, LOL Surprise Dolls, NERF products, Nintendo products, Star Wars merchandise, Samsung TV’s, Amazon Fire TV, Airpods, and air fryers. A diverse group of products for sure, but when we think about where each of these products fall demographic wise, it makes a lot of sense. Of course, smartphones also took a top spot, accounting for almost a third of the total money spent, sending overall smartphone sales for the year up 46%. 

Cyber Monday has been slowly taking the crown from Black Friday in terms of significant shopping days during this Thanksgiving weekend. More and more consumers are embracing the digital age and staying home instead of getting up early to go to the store and wait for hours in line to get a TV on sale that they could just buy for the same reduced price online that upcoming Monday. Additionally, this year the winter weather hit a lot of the US hard during Thanksgiving weekend, so customers were even less inclined to leave their homes, and more inclined to shop online. 

“Online shopping received some unexpected boosts this holiday season. Retailer fears of a shorter season meant that deals came much sooner than usual, and consumers took notice. In some areas of the country, adverse weather in the form of snow and heavy rain meant that many opted to stay home instead and grabbed the best deals online. Just look at Black Friday, which brought in $7.4 billion online and is just below last year’s Cyber Monday at $7.9 billion,” said Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights.

With online retail growing everyday, it makes perfect sense that Cyber Monday brought in so much money this year. Tech Crunch predicts that in total consumers will spend $14 billion more than they did this year on their online shopping alone. It’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

 

Small Business Meeting

How To Prepare Your Business For “Small Business Saturday”

With Thanksgiving right around the corner shoppers are eagerly planning and waiting for one of the biggest retail holidays of the year. Once the turkey’s have been eaten and the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone, shoppers across the country get ready to wake up early and head to some of their favorite stores in an attempt to get a great Black Friday deal. Black Friday, however, is just the beginning of an extended weekend of shopping deals. Cyber Monday takes the title of second most recognized holiday shopping affair, however, one that is often overlooked is Small Business Saturday. A Saturday that’s meant to remind consumers everywhere that while they’re shopping at retail giants for the holidays this year, don’t forget about the hard-workers that make up local small businesses. Supporting your local small business is especially important during the holidays, while retail in general tends to boom during the holiday month, small businesses are often disregarded in terms of shopping, when superstores and online retail giants have taken over. 

Owning a small business is something that you should pride yourself greatly in. Running an entire establishment and keeping up with modern retail trends can definitely be difficult, but millions of Americans are out there doing it and succeeding. There’s many ways that these businesses can keep up a modern and fresh image, especially during this major shopping weekend, to really draw customers in. 

Embed from Getty Images

Store design, graphics, and branding is obviously so important to catching the consumers attention. The holidays give small business owners another great opportunity to do a mini “re-branding” of their businesses aesthetic, and doing so will draw in the attention of holiday lovers everywhere. If you own a store front property, don’t be afraid to invest in some lights and other festive decorations to engulf the outside space of your business. While tedious, holiday decorations in general evoke a very “homey” and euphoric reaction in customers and will draw them in to see what kind of holiday specials you’re offering. The same goes for interior design, don’t be afraid to make your space festive with some little pre-lit Christmas trees, ribbon, twinkly lights, and glitter, glitter always helps. Even if you just have customers coming in to take photos of the amazing decorating work you’ve done, that’s free publicity right there, so don’t be afraid to do what you need to do in order to get the most foot traffic. 

Social media presence is a major requirement for owning a small business in this age. Your online presence is how you advertise, especially if your business is locally based. If you don’t have any sort of social media profiles for your business, definitely make a few! Especially for the holiday season and Small Business Saturday (SBS), you can turn to your platforms to inform your following of all the great SBS sales you have going on. Word spreads the quickest when it’s done through digital communication, so don’t hesitate to join the digital age, especially when it comes to your business. 

Embed from Getty Images

In preparation for SBS, you also want to ensure that all lines of communication relating to your business are up and running. Telephone lines are cleared, internet access is set up, and you have staff ready to answer any customer questions in a quick and efficient matter. Relating to technology, you want to ensure any digital devices that you use to run your business are set up and in working order before the holiday weekend rush. If you know for a fact that you’re likely to get major foot traffic at one point or the other during the day, maybe invest in an additional “Square Terminal” that can simply be plugged into your phone (or employee’s phones) to take care of credit card transactions with customers, (assuming you’re in some sort of retail industry). Running a small business as smoothly as possible during a holiday retail weekend will stick with customers, and most likely lead to word spreading about all  the great deals your having. 

Finally, ensure that you and your team are ready and prepared for this holiday season. Employee’s tend to feel residual stress from the holiday’s in general that they bring into the workplace, and understandably so. The holidays in general can cause a whole slew of emotions and stresses to occur, be the leader they need you to be and ensure everyone that you’re a team and will work together the whole way through. Bringing in some holiday snacks might keep morale up as well. So whip out the cookie mix, Christmas lights, holiday ads, high-speed internet, and get ready for another successful year in the books of running a successful small business. And good luck this Saturday!