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Price Wars: How Retailers are Competing for Customer’s Dollars Online: Analysis, Research, Facts

As the world is becoming more and more technology driven, the internet is now playing an increasingly more important role in our daily lives. We not only use the internet nowadays as a communication or information medium, but also a medium to make purchases and sales online. The internet has thus revolutionized not only the way we do business, but how we do business as well. In the get-it-now, digitally connected world we live in today, many people find it easier and more convenient to make purchasing decisions online, especially when the general consensus is that you can easily find and obtain better deals online. I know I have, as I have ditched all checks, stamps and envelopes, and most stores for paying bills online, booking trips online, buying most clothes and other personal items and gadgets online, and even down to the small tasks such as grocery shopping and ordering food. This has obviously become a gold mine for retailers and other businesses that provide services especially when they provide these services only online.

This year Cyber Monday deals drew a 33% increase in online shoppers in comparison with the Monday after Thanksgiving last year, according to a new IBM report released Tuesday. This record number of consumers also spent an average of 2.6% more on online purchases than last year, with the value of an average online order rising from $193.24 to a record $198.26. Also increasing this year was the number of shoppers who made purchases on their smartphones and tablets, the study said. On Cyber Monday, a record 10.8% of people used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 3.9%  in 2010. Mobile sales also grew to 6.6% on this year’s Cyber Monday purchases, up from 2.3% last year.

The consumerism doesn’t stop at nationally promoted sales days. Online shopping has become a go-to solution for many people’s shopping needs wordlwide, so online competition has to be more competitive year round. This year, consumers spent $1.13 billion with online retailers Monday, Dec. 12. This is a 19% from last year’s “Green Monday”, making Monday the third-highest day for online sales this holiday season, comScore Inc. says. Some marketers refer to the second Monday in December as Green Monday because it is often one of the top sales days for e-retailers. The top two online sales days thus far this holiday season were Monday, Nov. 28, commonly referred to as Cyber Monday, at $1.25 billion, and Monday, Dec. 5 at $1.17 billion, according to comScore, which estimates online sales based on online purchases made by the approximately 2 million people in its online research panel. Sales are expected to strongly continue this week. Online retailers could see several billion-dollar spending days, punctuated by Free Shipping Day on Friday, Dec. 16. Free Shipping Day is a marketing event organized by the web site, which includes nearly 1,900 e-retailers who are expected to participate.

In conclusion, statistics are showing that consumers are trending towards online purchasing, this means big bucks especially during the holiday season. Increasing accessibility also increases the online traffic. Online consumers are rapidly adopting smartphones and tablets and becoming more comfortable with the technology and starting to trust e-commerce more. All statistics are pointing towards pushes in e-commerce, and the smart consumers know how to fulfill their holiday, and general needs, by making the switch to online consumers. By doing so, the consumer avoids the in-store mayhem, the pitched tents outside of stores, and the joys of being pepper sprayed by that one person trying to grab the last $10.00 clothing steamer. Thanks to Cyber Monday, I could personally afford a previously too-expensive trip to Las Vegas. See you at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show!

Key Statistics:
Online sales were up 33% from 2010
Mobile visits made up 11% of retailer site traffic, up from 4% last year
Mobile sales amounted to 7% of total sales, up 287% from 2010
iPad users bought more than any other single mobile device
iPhone and iPad comprised 7.4% of all traffic
Android phones contributed 3.2% of traffic
Interestingly, cars and trucks made up 20% of all mobile sales on eBay in the UK
The average consumer spent $124.82, 9% more than last year
Although Android and iOS devices are competing for market share, iOS consumers tend to be more affluent and buy more on their devices.
Mobile commerce transactions are growing at a breakneck pace. iPad users spend more money than both desktop and other mobile users per transaction.



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