With more and more shoppers poised to do their holiday shopping online, shares in companies like Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Facebook (FB) may benefit.
ShopperTrak expects that 10% fewer shoppers will visit brick and mortar stores, but that e-commerce sales will continue to pick up, benefiting the likes of Amazon and Apple, which are two of the biggest online retailers in the world. Facebook's poised to benefit due to the increasing presence social media has in sharing what people purchased on Facebook and Instagram, which recently rolled out ads.
Last year, a good portion of online traffic on Black Friday came from the iPad, causing IBM (IBM) to release a report known as "The iPad Factor." That's likely to continue to increase, with Apple having released two new tablets this year, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini. Apple recently announced its Black Friday shopping event, with a picture of an iPad on the ad, so it's possible CEO Tim Cook may indeed be correct, when he said he's expecting it to be an "iPad Christmas."
Throughout 2013, Amazon has done nothing but reinforce that it is the go-to place for online retail shopping. It's announced two new Kindle Fire HDX tablets, a new Kindle Paperwhite, and several other initiatives to get you to spend your money on Amazon.
Amazon is putting on the full court press this year, as the holiday shopping season approaches. It's launching a Black Friday deal every 10 minutes, and Cyber Monday is sure to have some of the same sales, as people return to work.
The holiday shopping season is incredibly important for Amazon, which expects to generate revenue between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are expecting to earn 66 cents per share on $26.027 billion in revenue.
Shares of Amazon have exploded this year, as the Jeff Bezos-led company has gained 50.8% year to date.
Though Facebook doesn't sell any devices and isn't a traditional retailer like Amazon, it is the world's largest social network, with over 1.19 billion users as of the end of the third quarter. That's a lot of eyeballs seeing a lot of advertising, which is where Facebook makes the bulk of its money.
As more shopping gets done online, advertisers have turned to the web, and social media, to focus their advertisements, and Facebook's reaped the benefits.
In the third-quarter, Facebook generated $2.02 billion in revenue, with $1.8 billion coming from advertising. Of that $1.8 billion in advertising revenue, mobile revenue accounted for 49% of that, equating to $881 million.
As more shoppers turn to mobile devices, advertising on mobile becomes even that more important. Facebook had 874 million mobile monthly active users (MAUs) at the end of the third-quarter. While a good chunk of shopping on Cyber Monday is done on work PCs, Facebook stands to benefit whether it's on mobile or desktop, as consumers will inevitably share the latest and greatest deals they've gotten, and perhaps find one or two on Facebook itself.
Shares of Facebook had gained 70.7% year-to-date since Nov. 26.