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Strong Sales Growth for eCommerce Merchants

Retail Decisions reports that the "online retail market received a double dose of good news as merchants kicked-off the 2007 Holiday season. Purchase value of goods sold on Black Friday was up 83% and on Cyber Monday was up 80% year on year."

ReD further compared U.S. online shopping activity over the entire holiday weekend between November 23, Black Friday and November 26, Cyber Monday with the previous year. Black Friday’s purchase value of goods sold and transaction volume lagged slightly behind Cyber Monday, but overall transaction volume for Black Friday was up 62.25% and Cyber Monday up 54.25%, like for like over 2006.

“We were anticipating a great Black Friday for online sales, but the results from Cyber Monday surpassed our expectations,” says Carl Clump, CEO of Retail Decisions. “Retailers did an excellent job drawing a record number of customers to their online storefronts, utilizing the Web as their marketing tool to announce special Cyber Monday promotions. These promotions, ranged from free shipping to deep discounting, and generated a constant flow of online activity throughout the day.”

According to ReD, online shoppers slept in on Black Friday. The peak shopping hour on Black Friday was 11:00 a.m. (EST). But on Cyber Monday shoppers started early with the volume of sales peaking at 9:00 a.m. (EST) with the peak shopping minute being at 9:49 a.m. (EST), right at the start of the work day.

There was enough online activity generated during the 2007 holiday season kick-off that ReD is already able to identify the most popular gift items and the top products that are being targeted by fraudsters. To date, the hottest selling products are Nintendo Wii & accessories, gift cards, Xbox 360 Premium Console, GPS products from Garmin and TomTom and DVD camcorders.

As a global leader in card fraud prevention and payment processing, ReD monitors over 14 billion card transactions annually, providing a unique perspective on sales volumes and trends. Retail Decisions’ processing platforms record and analyze a significant percentage of online payment transactions globally. “Analysts have been predicting that this year’s Black Friday would be strong for online stores and ReD’s data supports that trend,” says Clump.

Unfortunately for the brick-and-mortar retail channel, the kick-off to the 2007 holiday season was not as impressive. Industry research outfit ShopperTrak RCT reported that sales increased 8.3% year-over-year for Black Friday. High-profile discounts and aggressive marketing all did their part to get consumers into stores. The National Retail Federation also said that consumer traffic was up 4.8% year-over-year, to 147 million shoppers—or half of all Americans—though consumers spent 3.5% less per person.

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