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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 26, 2009

Consumers ready for Black Friday early

The majority of consumers may still be pinching pennies this holiday season, but that does not mean ecommerce hubs, brand marketers and etailers will see dismal revenue results. Pinching pennies, it turns out, means consumers are simply hunting for the best deals - and they are hunting early this year. According to a new report from Nielsen Online, American holiday shoppers began checking out Black Friday sales websites earlier than ever, with visits to Black Friday sites increasing traffic by 87% from the week of November 8 through the week of November 15.

by Kristina Knight

Multi-channel marketing services company ShopLocal agrees. Their sites have seen traffic to circular websites increase 50% over November 2008 numbers and expect traffic to online stores to be strong throughout the day on Friday. Traffic, so far, has increased more than 20% over 2008 numbers with page views increasing 18%.

What does this mean? It means that even though consumers may spend a little less, etailers and retailers need to be prepared for crowds this Friday because large amounts of money will be spent.

"As we saw in our recent ">online holiday survey, consumers plan on bargain hunting more extensively this year in order to save money and many view the Internet as the place to do this," said Maya Swedowsky, associate research director, Nielsen's online division. "Multi-channel retailers can leverage these Black Friday Web sites to draw consumers into their brick-and-mortar stores on the big day."

The report finds that consumers are logging on and returning to Black Friday sites time after time, spending more cumulative time at the sites this year than last year as they search for the best deal on gifts. Savvy retailers have taken advantage of that fact by using social networks to promote upcoming Black Friday deals, a tactic which may result in even greater rewards.

If you haven't been socially marketing your holiday deals, there is still time. Although most shoppers have made their plans for Black Friday, there is still Cyber Monday to play and, of course, the next 24 days until the Christmas holiday.

Tags: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, ecommerce, holiday forecast, holiday shopping, holiday spend, Nielsen Online, online shopping, ShopLocal

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