I t seems a little late to report on the outcome of Black
Friday, or even Cyber Monday.
Sure, neither has happened yet, but that hasn't stopped anybody
from speculating about what Americans will be doing before,
during, and after Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Here are some of the most interesting insights from the latest
batch of research.
Of course, they flatly contradict each other. Hopefully, w e'll
know who's right by Tuesday or so.
But one thing is c lear from all of these analyses. There is no
longer a Black Friday for shopping in brick-and-mortar stores,
nor a Cyber Monday for shopping online , whatever the marketers
would have us believe .
American consumers are looking for the best products and the
best deals, and they'll search for them on foot, via desktop,
or on their mobile devices, or they'll employ all of them at
once if that's what it takes.
Nielsen survey suggests
that a little over half of all those who intend to shop on
Black Friday will do so from the comfort of their homes.
Moreover , it appears that the mobile-oriented consumer is
driving the pace. They want their special promotions and deals
early and often, and they're getting them.
The move to mobile shopping is changing the way retail giants,
), do business, according to
by Bloomberg News.
As they re-tool their promotions to match the behavior and
expectations of the mobile consumer, the holiday promotions are
coming earlier and more often, and are forming a sort of "bell
curve" of holiday-related specials that starts ea rlier and
ends later, the report concludes.
All very interesting, but what does it all add up to? Meaning,
are we in for a good or bad year for consumer spending?
Consumers say they'll spend $1,260 on holiday shopping this
year, an increase of $400 from last year, according to
an online poll
Poll respondents said they would use a "hybrid approach" to
shopping , trawling for the best deals in real-world stores and
on the Internet.
There is on e striking statistic: 51% said they would use their
mobile devices, whether to compare prices or complete
transactions, compared to just 32% last year.
A darker view comes
from research firm IbisWorld
, which predicts a weak holiday spending season overall for
Thanksgiving and beyond. The company cites stagnant disposable
incomes and a loss of confidence in the economy, brought on by
the government shutdown.
IbisWorld predicts an overall spending increase through the
holiday weekend, online and in stores, of only 2.2%. This is
despite double-digit growth in online sales on Cyber Monday .
Clearly, it expects consumers to be home hunting-and-pecking
for Internet bargains, not out and about in real-world stores.
The growth of mobile commerce must be the reason why
audience-measurement company ComScore is now breaking out
figures for "desktop ecommerce" and mobile sales as separate
digital channels .
Its fore cast is fairly upbeat for both, and since it starts
measuring holiday season sales at the start of November, it has
numbers to back it up
. Desktop holiday spending rose 14% , to nearly $19 billion, in
the first 24 days of November, according to its research.
Its forecast for the season through the end of December for
desktop sales is now 14%, for a total over $48 billion. That
would match the 2012 growth rate. Mobile sales are expected to
account for 13% of total digital sales.
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