Black Friday sees $1.2 billion spent by Americans on ecommerce via their desktops.
Americans have opted for ‘Couch Commerce’ by staying at home, avoiding the crushes and increased on Thanksgiving Day spending. Apparel & Accessories ranks as the top product category with Amazon being once again the top online retailer.
Due to variation in the 2012 and 2013 holiday shopping calendars with Thanksgiving falling so late this year, current season figures are being compared to last year’s, which contain a full week of heavy post Thanksgiving/Cyber Week buying.
As a result, the season-to-date growth rate is being artificially suppressed in the short term, with the effects likely to normalize as the season progresses. (An alternative comparison to the four weeks preceding Thanksgiving in our blog post of last week: Ecommerce sales forecast for 2013 holiday season shows a growth rate of 24 percent, which overstates the growth trend much in the way the current rate understates the real growth trend.)
Black Friday 2013 (November 29th) saw $1.198 billion in desktop online sales, making it the season’s first billion dollar day and heaviest online spending day to date, while representing a 15-percent increase versus Black Friday 2012. Thanksgiving Day (November 28), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 21-percent increase over Thanksgiving Day last year to $766 million.
Amazon Ranks #1 Among Online Retailers on Black Friday
66.1 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday using a desktop computer, representing an increase of 16 percent versus year ago. Amazon once again ranked as the most visited online retail site on Black Friday, followed by eBay, Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
Most Visited Retailer Properties on Black Friday 2013
Total U.S. – Home & Work Desktop Computers
Source: comScore, Inc.
4 Best Buy
Apparel & Accessories Leads the Way for Holiday Category Spending
Top Online Product Categories by Dollar Sales in 2013 Holiday Season to Date
Non-Travel (Retail) E-Commerce Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Desktop Computers
Source: comScore, Inc.
Category Share (%) of Online Dollar Sales
Apparel & Accessories 28%
Computer Hardware 19%
Consumer Electronics 7%
Consumer Packaged Goods 5%
Shipping Services 5%
All Other Product Categories 36%
The Apparel & Accessories category is posting particularly strong sales this holiday season as compared to the rest of the year with nearly double its baseline (i.e. January through October) market share while leap-frogging Computer Hardware to be the top-grossing product category. Notably, Computer Hardware is also outperforming its baseline market share for the prior ten months.
Whilst mobile ecommerce has grabbed the headlines- good old fashioned laptops and computer towers still dominate the actual spend figures.
14 % ecommerce sales forecast to grow to $48.1 Billion for the 2013 U.S. holiday season.
The first 24 days of November has seen strong desktop online spending with $18.9 billion in sales during the 2013 holiday season. The mobile ecommerce sales are expected to reach $7.1 billion, bringing the total digital ecommerce forecast spend to rise to $55.2 billion.
comScore reported the holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 24 days of the November-December 2013 holiday season, as well as its official spending forecast for the season.
For the holiday season-to-date, $18.9 billion has been spent online using desktop computers, marking a 14-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. Tuesday, November 19 has been the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $963 million. Two other shopping days – Thursday, November 14 and Sunday, November 24 – have also seen at least $900 million in online retail spending.
Black Friday- today and Cyber Monday can both be expected to easily surpass that total, with Cyber Monday already beginning to point toward $2 billion.
The forecast of 14 percent growth for desktop based buying still represents a strong outlook versus last year that highlights the continued channel shift to online. We also expect m-commerce spending growth to contribute about 2 percentage points to that growth rate, meaning that total digital commerce will grow at a rate of nearly 16 percent.
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year in the USA. However this year the 11th November ecommerce sales in China were close.
The day is traditionally when millions of US shoppers descend on stores across the country on the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday, hoping to save on their Christmas shopping.
Black Friday became the biggest shopping day of the year in 2001 and although it’s often touted as the biggest shopping day of the year, the day didn’t earn the designation consistently until the 2000s.
That’s because, for many years, the rule wasn’t that Americans loved deals, it was that they loved procrastinating. So up until that point, it was the Saturday before Christmas that typically saw the most wallets being emptied.
Recently, Black Friday has become an international affair as online shopping has grown with retailers like Amazon having looked to Cyber Monday, first heard of in 2005, to promote deals for shoppers across the globe.
These sales figures come as no surprise to us. Is your website optimised and mobile compatable- if not you will be missing out on online traffic- and probably sales?
If your business needs some help with maximising it’s online sales potential, then please contact us now:
Vodafone has reported a half year pre-tax profit of £1.5 billion as it announced that trading in Europe remained “very tough at present”.Chief executive Vittorio Colao said he had seen “intense macroeconomic, regulatory and competitive pressures during the period” there, but he was “encouraged” by forecasts that Europe would return to growth.
Mr Colao said the emerging markets businesses were doing well thanks to the growth of smartphone usage.
He said he hoped for a shift in regulation to support industry investment and consolidation.
Mr Colao said mature markets were “challenging”, but that focusing on cost efficiency was helping.
The figure marks a big fall from its £3.9 billion half-year pre-tax profit in 2012.
Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator said it plans to spend £7 billion on improving its networks by March 2016.
The move follows Vodafone’s deal in September to sell its US business to Verizon Communications for £81.2 billion.
The US arm made up 45% of Vodafone’s business, and the deal marked one of the largest to date in corporate history.
As part of its growth plan, “Project Spring”, the introduction of 4G networks, will be accelerated and investment for laying fibre optic cables increased, to allow Vodafone to offer faster broadband to its customers.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who created the world wide web called for a “full and frank public debate” over internet surveillance by the National Security Agency and GCHQ- warning that the system of checks and balances to oversee the agencies has failed.
As the inventor of the global system of inter-connectivity known as the web, with its now ubiquitous www and http, Berners-Lee is uniquely qualified to comment on the internet spying revealed by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
In an interview with the Guardian, he expressed particular outrage that GCHQ and the NSA had weakened online security by cracking much of the online encryption on which hundreds of millions of users rely to guard data privacy.
He said the agencies’ decision to break the encryption software was appalling and foolish, as it directly contradicted efforts of the US and UK governments to fight cybercrime and cyberwarfare, which they have identified as a national security priority. Berners-Lee also said it was a betrayal of the technology industry.
“Whistleblowers, and responsible media outlets that work with them, play an important role in society. We need powerful agencies to combat criminal activity online – but any powerful agency needs checks and balances and, based on recent revelations, it seems the current system of checks and balances has failed,” he said.
As the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that seeks to forward global standards for the web, Berners-Lee is a leading authority on the power and the vulnerabilities of the internet.
He said the Guardian’s coverage of the Snowden leaks had to be seen within the context of the failure of oversight of GCHQ’s and the NSA’s surveillance activities. “Here is where whistleblowing and responsible reporting can step in to protect society’s interests.
“It seems clear that the Guardian’s reporting around the scale and scope of state surveillance has been in the public interest and has uncovered many important issues which now need a full and frank public debate.”
Talking in his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Berners-Lee said that though he had anticipated many of the surveillance activities exposed by Snowden, he had not been prepared for the scale of the NSA/GCHQ operations. “I didn’t realise it would be so big,” he said.
At worst, such spying could damage the public’s confidence in the intimate privacy of the internet as a free and safe place to interact. “When you take away the safe space, you take away a lot of the power of human problem solving,” he warned.
He also criticised the cracking of encryption on ethical grounds: “Any democratic country has to take the high road; it has to live by its principles. I’m very sympathetic to attempts to increase security against organised crime, but you have to distinguish yourself from the criminal.”
Berners-Lee said that the series of Snowden disclosures revealed a failure at the heart of oversight in both the US and UK governments, which he called “dysfunctional and unaccountable”. The leaked documents raised the question: who guards the guards themselves?
In practice, he said, the only practical answer to that question was the whistleblowers. He called for the introduction of an international system of protection for whistleblowers such as Snowden, who has taken a year’s temporary refuge in Russia.
The Obama administration has pursued official leakers heavily, launching eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act including that of Snowden himself – more than twice the total number under all previous presidents.
“Civilisation has to a certain extent depended on whistleblowers, and therefore you have to protect them,” Berners-Lee said.
Google’s share price has broken through the $1000 mark today- the day after it reported an increase in it’s third quarter earnings.The numbers released yesterday impressed investors who had been fretting about a downturn in Google’s ad prices that began two years ago. Those concerns evaporated, at least temporarily, with a third quarter performance that exceeded the analyst projections steering Wall Street.
Google’s ad prices are still sagging as marketers pay less for commercial space on mobile devices, but the number of revenue generating clicks on those ads is rising at a much faster rate.
The equation resulted in a 36 percent increase in Google’s earnings for the three months ending in September.
The robust share rally represents an abrupt about face. As the overall stock market rose, Google’s shares had slipped slightly during the past three months. The reason: Google’s previous quarterly report in mid-July revealed the deterioration in the company’s ad prices was getting worse.
Google’s average ad price has now declined from the prior year in each of the last eight quarters, primarily because advertisers aren’t yet paying as much for mobile ads because the screens on smartphones and tablet computers are smaller than those on laptop and desktop computers.
As more people rely on mobile devices to connect to Google’s search engine and other services, it’s driving down the company’s average ad price, or “cost per click.”
In Google’s latest quarter, that measure fell 8 percent from last year- which was worse than the 6 percent drop in the previous quarter.
But the number of so-called “paid clicks” on Google’s ads helped offset the lower prices in the third quarter. The clicking volume increased 26 percent from last year, an indication that Google’s data analysis is doing a good job matching ads with the interests of its services’ users.
Google Inc. earned nearly £1.87 billion, or £5.46 per share, during the three months ending in September. That compared to income of £1.37 billion, or £4.08 per share, at the same time last year.
Revenue for the third quarter rose 12 percent from last year to £9.32 billion. After subtracting commissions paid to Google’s ad partners, Google’s revenue stood at £7.43 billion.
In a mild surprise, Google CEO Larry Page disclosed yesterday that he doesn’t plan to regularly participate in the company’s quarterly earnings calls with analysts in the future.
Mr Page, 40, missed an earnings call last year because of an ailment on his vocal chords that made it difficult for him to talk. Although his voice remains raspy, Page didn’t mention that as a reason for skipping the calls. He said he wants to devote more time to running the company and helping Google’s engineers build great products.
Google’s rise and rise is based upon the Golden Egg that is it’s pay per click gem Adwords. We did some research a few years ago and for every £100 you donate to it, £85 used to pay for the bubbly at the shareholders’ AGM.
The world slowed down last week as the last two VC10 flew to museums.
A chapter of British and global aviation history closed on the 25th September 2013 when the last flying Vickers VC10 (ZA147) landed. Following a farewell flight from RAF Brize Norton, the VC10 ZA147 arrived at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire where it has retired after 47 years of exceptional service.
The VC10 was a long range British airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd. The airliner was designed to operate on long-distance routes with a high subsonic speed and also be capable of hot and high operations from African airports. The initial concept of the VC10 was to provide a jet-powered airliner that could comfortably make use of the shorter runways commonly in use at the time.
The performance of the VC10 was such that it achieved the fastest crossing of the Atlantic (London to New York) by a jet airliner- a record which it still held to date for a sub-sonic airliner; only the supersonic Concorde was faster.
It was first flown at Brooklands, Surrey, in 1962, the same area where ZA150 landed for the final time on 24th September 2013 and will go on display at the VC10 Exhibition at Brooklands Museum.
Group Captain Steve Lushington, Station Commander of RAF Brize Norton who landed VC10 ZA147, provided some words following arrival into Bruntingthorpe. He said:
“This aircraft has such a fantastic history, its a world record holder and been involved in operations around the globe. There was a weepy eye on the flight deck from many of the crew, it was very poignant day but today should be a celebration of everything the VC10 has done, a quite incredible service history.
“I feel very privileged today. When I look back in my retirement and flick through the pages of my log book it will be with big smiles and fond memories.”
The Captain of the final flight was Flight Lieutenant Paul Smith who said:
“The weather was right on the limits of visual flying and we had to work very hard to get in here. I was 24 years old as a fresh faced Flying Officer when I first walked up the steps of a VC10 and I’ll be 52 in February so you can guess what it means to me, a bit of a bereavement. But she deserves a rest, she’s served us very well.”
The UK is creating a new cyberforce unit which will have an offensive capability, the defence secretary has announced.
The Ministry of Defence is recruiting hundreds of reservists as computer experts to work alongside regular forces in the creation of the new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit (JCRU).
The new unit will also, if necessary, launch strikes in cyber space, Philip Hammond said.
The role of the unit is to protect computer networks and safeguard vital data.
Mr Hammond told the Conservative Party conference that “the threat is real. Last year, our cyber defences blocked around 400,000 advanced, malicious cyber threats to the government secure intranet alone,” he said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the “creation of the “Joint Cyber Unit Reserve will allow it to draw on individuals’ talent, skills and expertise gained from their civilian experience to meet these threats”.
Mr Hammond told the Mail on Sunday clinical “cyber strikes” could disable enemy communications, nuclear and chemical weapons, planes, ships and other hardware.
He told the newspaper: “People think of military as land, sea and air. We long ago recognised a fourth domain – space. Now there’s a fifth – cyber. This is the new frontier of defence. For years, we have been building a defensive capability to protect ourselves against these cyber attacks. That is no longer enough.”
“You deter people by having an offensive capability. We will build in Britain a cyber strike capability so we can strike back in cyber space against enemies who attack us, putting cyber alongside land, sea, air and space as a mainstream military activity.
“Our commanders can use cyber weapons alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts.”
The MoD said the recruitment of reservists will target regular personnel leaving the armed forces, current and former reservists with the required skills and civilians with the appropriate technological skills and knowledge.
This announcement is highly significant as it is the first time that any government around the world has ever announced that it has an offensive cyber capability.
Blackberry has reported a second quarter net loss of £603 million following a slump in sales.
The company warned investors last week that it would report a loss of up to a billion dollars, due to poor sales of its new smartphones.
It also announced 4,500 job cuts in a bid to stem those losses.
Earlier this week Blackberry agreed to be bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial, its biggest shareholder, for £2.93 billion.
Blackberry said it would continue to explore other options while negotiations with Fairfax continued.
The company’s financial problems came to a head this year following disappointing sales of its new Z10 smartphone.
Sales were so poor that Blackberry had to write off £583 million in the second quarter to account for the weakness. Released in January – after many delays – the phone has failed to enthuse consumers.
The firm reported total sales of £1 billion compared with £1.94 billion in the same quarter of 2012- a near 50% fall.
“We are very disappointed with our operational and financial results this quarter and have announced a series of major changes to address the competitive hardware environment and our cost structure,” said Thorsten Heins, Blackberry’s chief executive.
In the second quarter, Blackberry said it sold 3.7 million Blackberry smartphones- which compares with 7.4 million shipments in the same period of 2012.
To put these sales figures into perspective, Apple sold 9 million of its new iPhone 5S and 5C smartphones on the opening weekend of sales earlier this month.
A new UK click and collect initiative has been launched which will mean that online shoppers will be able to order goods from eBay and pick them up from an Argos store.
The “click-and-collect” scheme is being piloted by eBay in about 150 Argos shops- which is part of Home Retail Group.
At least 50 eBay merchants are taking part in the scheme but have not been named yet. The move may help eBay challenge Amazon’s Locker delivery.
The Amazon scheme lets people order online then pick up their package from a growing number of secure passcode-protected lockers situated in local shops or other public venues.
Both Amazon, eBay and other online retailers are also involved in the separate Collect+ scheme, which allows parcels to be collected from participating corner shops, avoiding the risk of missing a delivery.
One of the drawbacks of eCommerce is the issue of deliveries. If you are out when a parcel was delivered it may be taken miles to a warehouse- or a Post Office sorting centre.
So, it makes sense to forge a partnership with national retailers, and we’ll see more of this because it combines the benefits of online shopping – competitive prices and massive ranges – with the convenience of the real-world store you can pop into on your way home.
Argos has been expanding its own click-and-collect service, allowing shoppers to have an item held back that might be in short supply or ordered in if not in stock.
There is a risk that the eBay tie-up could cannibalise some of those sales, and Argos noted the tie-up was only a trial set to last about six months.
“Having pioneered check-and-reserve in the year 2000, it now accounts for around a third of our business and continues to grow,” said the firm’s managing director, John Walden.
In May, Argos reported its first rise in annual sales in five years, largely thanks to online sales and the popularity of its “check and reserve” service.
Struggling smartphone maker Blackberry has agreed in principle to be sold to a consortium led by Fairfax Financial for £2.93 billion.Blackberry said in statement that Fairfax, its largest shareholder with about 10% of the stock, had offered £6 a share in cash to buy the company.
But Blackberry said it would continue to explore other options while negotiations with Fairfax continued.
On Friday, Blackberry announced 4,500 jobs cuts in a bid to stem losses.
The Canadian company said it expected to make a loss of up to £625 million after poor sales of its new handsets. In August, Blackberry said it was evaluating a possible sale.
The company has announced that it had “signed a letter of intent agreement under which a consortium to be led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered to acquire the company subject to due diligence”.
The statement continued: “Diligence is expected to be complete by November 4, 2013. The parties’ intention is to negotiate and execute a definitive transaction agreement by such date.”
However, Blackberry said it was not in exclusive talks with Fairfax and would continue to “actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations” with other potential buyers.
Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, Fairfax’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for Blackberry, its customers, carriers and employees.”
“We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to Blackberry customers around the world.”
Blackberry’s financial problems came to a head this year following disappointing sales of its new Z10 model smartphone. Released in January – after many delays – the phone has failed to enthuse consumers.
Blackberry shares, which fell 17% on Friday after its jobs cut announcement, rose just over 1% today.