With eBay and Amazon leading the way to make mobile shopping easier and digital storefronts more prevalent with every passing holiday season, online and m-commerce took a huge bite out of Black Friday this year. Overall reported sales were lower by some estimates, the shift to digital was definitive, either way.
Online sales, comprising mobile, tablet, and traditional Web, rose by 14.5%, as compared to last year, during Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday, meanwhile, saw an 18% increase in sales over the prior year (ending with a figure this year around $1.74 billion). Breaking down some of that figure, department stores, for instance, had a 70% increase in online sales over last year, and all together the apparel sector saw a 22.5% increase in e-commerce. Poor Black Friday. As long as shoppers don’t continue to spend more, stores will just keep losing out to the Web.
So, what are bricks-and-mortar stores to do? The most obvious solution to shifting habits is to streamline and promote all their online channels. Beyond that, however, retailers really need to embrace showrooming. As one of the most prevalent, growing consumer habits, it’s a way for stores to capture the shoppers they’re losing. The days of deterring in-store mobile phone referencing are definitely dead.