ShopperTrak report: Retail foot traffic up, sales dip on Black Friday
Chicago — A report released Saturday by ShopperTrak found that Black Friday proved to be a mixed bag for retailers, as retail foot traffic increased over last year, but retail sales decreased slightly.
ShopperTrak estimates that, when compared with Black Friday last year, retail foot traffic rose 3.5% to more than 307.67 million store visits. Retail sales decreased 1.8%, however, with shoppers spending an estimated total of $11.2 billion on Friday.
“Black Friday continues to be an important day in retail,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak founder. “This year, though, more retailers than last year began their ‘doorbuster’ deals on Thursday, Thanksgiving itself. So while foot traffic did increase on Friday, those Thursday deals attracted some of the spending that is usually meant for Friday.”
By region, total foot traffic increased year-over-year 12.9% in the Midwest, 7.6% in the northeast and 8.7% in the South. Foot traffic dipped 11.3% in the west.
Last year, Black Friday foot traffic increased over 2010 by 4.7%. In 2011, consumers spent $11.4 billion on Black Friday, up from $10.69 billion in 2010.
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Walmart U.S. reports ‘best-ever Black Friday events’
Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart U.S. reported Saturday that its Black Friday events were its “best ever,” and followed on the heels of what U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon described as an “impressive Thursday,” on which 22 million customers shopped U.S. Walmart stores.
Walmart’s Black Friday plan included three events this year at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. During the high-traffic period from 8 p.m. through midnight, Walmart processed nearly 10 million register transactions and almost 5,000 items per second, according to the retailer.
During the 8 p.m. event, customers were focused on gaming consoles, video games, DVDs, Furbys, fashion dolls, board games and Crock-Pots.
At 10 p.m. it was all about electronics, including big-screen TVs, tablets, laptops and digital cameras.
In response to the UFCW’s planned protests, Simon said, “Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates.” In addition, the company did not experience the walk-offs that were promised by the UFCW. “We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year,” Simon said.
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IBM reports mobile commerce drives online weekend sales
New York — According to a report by IBM, U.S. shoppers took full advantage of early promotions this holiday season, driving a 17.4% increase in online sales Thanksgiving Day. This increase set the stage for 20.7% growth on Black Friday. The biggest surge came from mobile consumers, with sales reaching 16.3%, led by the iPad.
The data is the result of cloud-based analytics findings from IBM.
Other findings of the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark revealed the following trends:
- Online sales on Thanksgiving grew by 17.4% followed by Black Friday where sales increased 20.7% over last year;
- Mobile purchases soared with 24% of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 14.3% in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16%, up from 9.8% in 2011;
- The iPad generated more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, reaching nearly 10% of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 8.7% and Android 5.5%. The iPad dominated tablet traffic at 88.3% followed by the Barnes and Noble Nook at 3.1%, Amazon Kindle at 2.4% and the Samsung Galaxy at 1.8%;
- Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall, 58% of consumers used smartphones compared with 41% who used tablets to surf for bargains on Black Friday;
- While consumers spent more overall, they shopped with greater frequency to take advantage of retailer deals and free shipping. This led to a drop in average order value by 4.7% to $181.22. In addition, the average number of items per order decreased 12% to 5.6; and
- Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34% of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35% from 2011.
“This year’s holiday shopper was hungry for great deals and retailers didn’t disappoint, rolling out compelling offers which consumers gobbled up on Thanksgiving straight through Black Friday,” said Jay Henderson, strategy director, IBM Smarter Commerce.
The report found that holiday sales growth was led by several industries which include:
- Department stores continued to offer compelling deals and promotions that drove sales to grow by 16.8% over Black Friday 2011;
- Health and Beauty sales increased 11% year over year;
- Home goods maintained its momentum this year, reporting a 28.2% increase in sales from Black Friday 2011; and
- Apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Black Friday numbers showing an increase of 17.5% over 2011.
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