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Price Wars: How Retailers Are Competing for Customer Dollars Online: Overview

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On November 28th, retailers buckled down for a day of furious sales. Though the day itself was not as violent as Black Friday from a consumer perspective (no one got pepper-sprayed in the face at Walmart.com), it was nevertheless war for the retailers themselves.

Reaching an epic total of over $1.25 billion worth of online sales in a single day, Cyber Monday has become the “new” Black Friday according to some. This isn’t just because of the crowds; according to TechCrunch, consumers truly believe they can get better deals shopping online.

As of December 4th, $18.7 million has been spent on online holiday deals. This number is expected to increase dramatically as Christmas and New Year’s draw ever closer, and retailers are helping to guide the tide of consumers through viciously fighting each other for those dollars.

With commercials touting the deals available on sites like eBay and Amazon, and physical retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart airing their own online deals, it’s no surprise that consumers are forgetting the hassle of waiting in line and are instead buying from the quiet and comfort of their own home. This trend is often rewarded by the opportunities retailers present to receive better prices, or to even obtain free gifts or gift cards from these retailers.

Some notable examples from this season include Best Buy’s “price match guarantee,” Walmart’s layaway plans, several retailers offering free shipping on most items, and Amazon’s Cyber Monday Deals Week price war that attacked offers made by the above retailers, among others.

With online deals becoming an even bigger part of the holiday shopping season than point-of-purchase deals, and as retailers do everything in their power to secure consumer dollars for themselves, these price wars are becoming even more bloody than their violent Black Friday counterparts. Ultimately, however, the consumer will be the victor.

Sources:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/04/cyber-monday-kicks-off-record-6b-online-holiday-shopping-week-thanks-to-free-shipping-offers/

http://www.examiner.com/business-and-finance-in-national/amazon-com-opens-cyber-monday-deals-week-sets-new-shopping-record

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