Online Holiday Shopping Sales Meet Record Breaking Expectations


 Online Holiday Shopping Sales Meet Record Breaking Expectations

Online Holiday Shopping Sales Meet Record Breaking Expectations
The holiday shopping season broke records this year. It was the busiest online shopping period in history, with Americans spending over $3 billion dollars on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other big-ticket days to celebrate the holidays. This pattern of consumers paying more for goods during large-scale sales is nothing new. So what makes this a particularly noteworthy year?

Two things: firstly, there were few expectations in terms of how successful these sales would be, which means should anything go wrong they would have had no real impact on revenue as a whole; secondly, many shoppers were encouraged to buy through social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter - and that's where things get really interesting.

We live in an age where social media is increasingly dictating the way we interact; when it comes to money, we're seeing that trend play out in a pretty dramatic way. Since we all need to get our hands on these goods, it's being reported that consumers are abandoning their typical online shopping habits and turning instead to social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter to get the best deals. More specifically: when regular consumers are spending more time on Facebook or Twitter than they spend browsing retail sites themselves (as has been the case since 2013), then you have a social network that can generate an incredible amount of revenue by leveraging their vast audience of active users.

The fact that many of these customers are buying on these social networks, means that they expect to be given instant access and delivery times, but with a huge value added for free. This is something that e-commerce retailers are increasingly catering to; last year, 46% of online holiday sales were made via mobile apps or mobile phones - this year that increased by over 50%.

Customers are looking for instant engagement and contact between themselves and the company - and many retailers have taken notice of this in order to maintain their relevance. In 2013, a total of $534 billion was spent online during Black Friday sales; this year (so far), we're told it was over $300 billion dollars. Again, the one common theme here is that customers expect free shipping, a very speedy delivery, and incredibly competitive prices.

Retailers have taken notice of this and invested over $54 billion in their online distribution and fulfillment capabilities. Online retailers are now expected to spend over $8 billion on improving their digital platforms for this year alone. It's an exciting time to be involved in ecommerce or retailing - especially when you consider how social media has altered the way consumers shop online. The rise of mobile has resulted in a change so dramatic that it's helped us redefine how we think about shopping for goods entirely. People expect a lot, and they want to have fun doing it - and retailers are increasingly getting better at giving that to them.

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