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Black Friday Sales Shine for Online Retailers

Coremetrics has released some initial data for Black Friday sales and the outcome for online retailers is looking great. Overall there was a 15.9% increase in sales between Black Friday 2009 and Black Friday 2010, and the average price per order is also up by 12.1% (from around $170 per order to $190.80).

Although we typically think of Black Friday as a boon for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, it's clear that shoppers are starting to turn to online shopping more and more frequently, not only to avoid the long lines and early mornings but also for ease of use and a better buying experience. The study shows that we are doing more research before buying, as page views per order are down year over year. As a result, we can conclude that most shoppers already know what they're looking for at the time of purchase, rather than simply logging on to their favorite retailer's website to see what the latest deals are.

Another great statistic is that Black Friday traffic from a mobile device is up 5.6% in 2010. What we draw from this stat is that even folks who participated in traditional brick-and-mortar sales probably turned to their cellphone or tablet to do comparison shopping before committing to a purchase in-store. Overall we aren't exactly shocked by these results as online shopping has been on the rise for a long time now. The increase in online and mobile adoption rates coupled with the American recession's impact on the way folks research and compare prices before we buy means that Coremetric's data is a confirmation of how critical e-commerce is to a small business.

If you're a small business with a brick-and-mortar storefront how did your sales compare to Coremetric's data? If you're selling your product or service through a website did you notice an increase in profits from this time last year? If not, why? Analyze your website from a potential customer's point of view. Is the buying experience easy and user-friendly, and have you marketed to your prospect customers so that they know to visit the website at all? If not, it may be time to rethink your digital marketing strategy, or to create one if you haven't already.