Though the unemployment rate continues to hover at 9 percent, there was an increase in Black Friday sales this year. According to the National Retail Federation, 226 million shoppers visited stores, both virtually and in reality this Black Friday weekend. The National Retail Federation provides an analysis of the retail industry.
According to the website, “the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad.” In the National Retail Federation evaluation, Black Friday weekend included Thursday, Friday, Saturday and expected Sunday spending.
This year’s numbers saw an increase after 2010 saw only 212 million shoppers. The expected budget of shoppers this year was $398.62, an increase from last year’s $365.34, according to the report. Cyber Monday also saw a jump in sales. The Washington Post reported that researchers at IBM Benchmark saw preliminary numbers that showed a 15 percent increase in sales since last year.
The shopping industry is also changing. 7.37 percent of purchases were made on a mobile device, according to Benchmark’s research. This is a 5.12 increase since last year which saw only 2.25 percent of shopping was done on a mobile device. Marketers will now begin to market to its clients and their mobile devices.
The Washington Post reported that Benchmark evaluated its businesses and realized that 80 percent of companies offered some sort of discount, or bargain on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. Google Think Insights is a new company that launched mid-November. It is a “one-stop shop for consumer trends, marketing insights and industry research,” according to its website.
The site is primarily geared to businesses who want to increase their marketability among clients and potential business partners. Insights conducts research and analyzes its data. The site then uses these numbers to offer advice to companies in need of tweaking marketing to improve sales.
Buyers will turn to primarily social networking and coupon sites for bargains going into the holiday season, according to Insights research. 74 percent of online purchases will be made on a tablet, while 54 percent will made on a smartphone. Insights expects shoppers to do use their technological devices to complete research regarding their purchases. 55 percent will use the GPS capabilities in their phones, while 47 percent will use the devices to price check different items.