Even With Black Friday Sales, Online Shopping Still Dominates

While sales for the madness known as Black Friday were high, it was more for online retailers like Amazon, rather than brick-and-mortar stores.

The Oceanside Post has reported that retail stores’ sales for Black Friday fell 10 percent to $10.4 billion this year, as opposed to $11.6 billion in 2014. In-store shoppers spent an estimated $12.1 billion during the two-day period. Despite this, the number of shoppers going to shopping malls and stores across Georgia increased 25 percent from last year, making it an all-time record high. At the soon-to-be closed Toys R Us in Manhattan’s Times Square, about 200 shoppers lined up all the way to the corner 45th Street toward Sixth Avenue just to get in on all the deals this day has to offer. According to Yahoo!, Walmart “ruled the retail roost” as was expected.

A spokeswoman for the Taubman Centers, a company that owns and runs regional shopping malls in the U.S. and Asia, said that the majority of their malls had sales that were slightly the same as last year or up slightly.

On the flip side, Cyber Monday sales totaled $3 billion for the first time. According to CNBC, this set a record for a single day that doubled expectations.

“Holiday shopping will never be the same,” says Ken Wisnefeski for the website The Street. He wrote in his article “Black Friday; Holiday Shopping Will Never Be the Same” that there were 103 million people shopping online during Black Friday, while 102 million shopped in brick-and-mortar stores. Thus, online sales have risen up 21 percent over the previous year.

Amazon was the clear winner totaling 36 percent of all Black Friday web-based sales, with a huge selection of products and a good experience for mobile users. The multi-channel online retailer 123Stores, Inc., boasted sales of $4.4 million from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. This was a 122 percent increase from 2014.

“Accordingly, Thanksgiving sales were up 144 percent whereas, Black Friday sales were up 124 percent,” said Sharad Kajaria, the founder of 123Stores, who stated that holiday shopping began earlier with many Black Friday sales being available on Thanksgiving, as well.

Many retailers also expanded their Cyber Monday sales throughout the week, dubbing it “Cyber-Week.” This has given shoppers convenience to get great deals on their own schedule.

While many thought they got great deals for both days, Time reported that the average savings on Amazon was a small 2.5 percent. While some promotions boasted sales anywhere from 40 to 66 percent, it was ultimately misleading and inflated to make the discounts seem very impressive. Estimates state that Walmart’s average saving was 3.6 percent or less and for Target it was 6.8 percent or less. This has given the impression to shoppers that Black Friday is now becoming meaningless. In a survey from Ibotta, 65 percent of shoppers believe that Black Friday is no longer as big a deal as it used to be.

Despite all this, CNBC reports that this weekend may be an ideal weekend to shop. The reasoning for this is because several Americans have taken a break from holiday shopping and spending, and therefore there are fewer crowds at the registers.

Bill Martin, the founder of ShopperTrak, mentioned that its typical to see shopper “exhaustion” following Black Friday weekend because of many spending much of their cash on sensational deals.

On top of this, stores have restocked their shelves with much of the hot ticket items that they were sold out of during Black Friday, giving shoppers an opportunity to pick them up. It is estimated that it is the slowest weekend for sales and only the seventh busiest day for traffic in the season. All of this will make for a more or less stress-free shopping environment for consumers that still have some extra cash left over.

(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)