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E-Commerce Holiday Results – Good But Not As Forecast

1.largeTo think back just a very few years who could have imagined the power and impact of online shopping, e-commerce? The overall holiday shopping season is traditionally measured as the money spent for the holiday season starting from November 2 and ending at the close of business on December 23.  The holiday shopping season got off to a great start with year on year increases from last year that forecasters thought bode well for the rest of the cyber shopping season. After just the first 24 days (of this 52 day period) sales were robust and economists were forecasting total online sales of approximately $48.1 billion dollars. Now that surely is economic power and impact.


As reported in our earlier article, the revenues generated by the three mega online shopping days (Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday) not only exceeded forecasts, they set all time records.




Based on these number, along with the additional early online shopping, the bar was being set high and retailers were very optimistic.  As  the cyber frenzy continued though what was seen was a kind of measured slowdown in ongoing online sales. During the total season this year we had 9 days of online revenues of $1 billion or more, as compared to last year when we saw 12 days in excess of $1 billion.  As retailers saw this online slowdown, coupled with the same trend in the stores they did what any retailer would do. To increase sales and reinvigorate shopping they took to the strategy of offering deeper and deeper discounts. This had the desired affect of selling more but also the trade off of falling short of the original target. Two other factors also played into the final outcome this year; consumers continued to seem wary of over spending due to the overall economies around the globe and this years shopping days between the hyper kickoff on Thanksgiving and Christmas was actually 6 days shorter than last year.


The final numbers for the cyber season finished at $46.5 billion, which is a 10% growth over last seasons online number of $42.2 billion. The good news view is that this is a 10% increase, but the flip side view is that the forecast fell short by 4%.  I prefer the good news view but I am sure the retailers are already busy reviewing and re-reviewing these numbers and mapping out their strategy for the next Cyber Season.


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Ralph Eck

About Ralph Eck

Ralph is an international businessman with a wealth of experience in developing; telecommunications, data transmission, CATV and internet companies. His experience and expertise positions him uniquely in being able to; analyze, evaluate and critique technology and how it fits into a business’ operational needs while supporting its’ success.