December 5, 2014

Cyber Monday 2014 Shatters a Sales Record With Over $2 Billion In Transactions: What Does it Mean?

By Justin H.

Many pundits, including us at TekShouts!, predicted that 2014 would be the year Cyber Monday truly overthrew Black Friday, and that is precisely what happened. No longer is Cyber Monday just Black Friday’s eschewed little brother, as it has now eclipsed that vaunted, mall-mobbing day with e-commerce glory. According to CBS, Cyber Monday reeled in an astonishing $2.68 billion worth of online sales this year, a 17% leap from last year, which was good enough to make it the single biggest online shopping day in U.S. history.

Conversely, Black Friday took a noticeable hit this year, when sales fell 11%. This drop can be attributed to a handful of factors, such as the 24% surge in Thanksgiving Day sales, as well as the diminishing quality of Black Friday deals overall. Consumers also spent more money in general this year, which could be a result of plunging gas prices and a steadily improving job market. All of these factors certainly play a role in the balance of power between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they don’t account for such a massive shift towards e-commerce.

Brick and mortar locations will never become obsolete in terms of shopping, but they are simply facing an endless uphill battle against the constantly growing e-commerce business. E-commerce is currently winning the bout for retail supremacy, and will continue to do so because it operates online. Therefore, companies are able to reach substantially more customers from all over the world. Waiting in line in the cold to buy an iPad? What are we, cavemen?

Wal-Mart is often a huge hot spot on Black Friday

Consumers also will often go to the store to find what they want, and then simply go home to purchase it online. Many online prices are also cheaper than their in-store counterparts, and free shipping is more of a necessity than a commodity. Take this personal example: the recent iOS update from Apple turned my iPhone 4s into a proverbial block of marble. When I went to the store to consider the new iPhone 6, I would have had to pay full price, jump through many contractual hoops to get the phone on my existing data plan, etc. Instead, I went home and bought it online through Verizon with my upgrade, and traded in my old iPhone through them for a $200 discount generally had a much easier time purchasing a new phone this way.

E-commerce also has the advantage of no peripheral costs. An online business does not have the burden of paying a large amount of their earnings to employees, rent, electric bills, and any other expenses, which frees them up to use money in other areas such as marketing, or providing customers with free shipping. Online shopping also eliminates the rush of Black Friday shoppers. You can leisurely shop at your own pace and browse through all products without having to worry about your new television being ripped from your fingers by ruthless shoppers before you can even make it to checkout.

All these statistics point to the experts nailing this prediction on the head. The huge swing in Cyber Monday’s favor has finally happened, and it is going to be interesting to see more shifts in 2015!

What did you splurge for this past holiday shopping season? Let us know in the comments below!

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