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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Shop.org: 129.2 million Americans to shop online on Cyber Monday
Washington, D.C. — A survey released by Shop.org and conducted by BIGinsight found that 129.2 million shoppers say they’ll head to retailers’ websites on Cyber Monday, up from the 122.8 million who shopped last year, and the 106.9 million who shopped on Cyber Monday in 2010.
The majority (85%) of retailers will have a special promotion for Cyber Monday, according to a prior survey.
“Whether from the couch or the cubicle, online shoppers will make this Cyber Monday bigger than ever,” said Shop.org executive director, Vicki Cantrell. “Retailers have honed and improved their websites, mobile sites and social media outreach to be better than ever and consumers know that come Cyber Monday, many retailers will have a slew of new promotions to help them make a real dent in their holiday shopping lists, without breaking the bank or even having to head to the store.”
The number of shoppers planning to use their smartphones or other mobile device this Cyber Monday increased to 20.4 million this year, from 17.8 million in 2011, an increase of 14.4%. In just three years, the number of Americans saying they would use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday has skyrocketed from just 3.6 million (3.8%) in 2009 to 20.4 million (15.8%) in 2012.
While the majority of Cyber Monday shoppers will make purchases from their home computer (88.0%, or 113.7 million people), nearly 16 million will also use their computers at work to shop this year (12.4%).
While many retailers expect to see sales and traffic spike over lunch hours, Cyber Monday shoppers plan to go online throughout the day. According to the survey, 44.4% of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to hit the web early in the morning, with more than one-third (36.8%) planning to shop in the late morning. Additionally, nearly three in 10 Cyber Monday shoppers (29.2%) will shop in the early evening.
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