US online sales surge, shoppers throng stores on Thanksgiving evening

US online sales surge, shoppers throng stores on Thanksgiving evening

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US shoppers had splurged more than $1.52 billion online by Thanksgiving evening, and more bargain hunters turned up at stores this year after two weak holiday seasons as retailers opened their doors early on the eve of Black Friday. From opting to get their hands on silverware for the holidays from a professional silver antique shop to thronging malls in a bid to buy off of the Black Friday sale, the average expenditure of a customer tends to go up drastically. Because of the incredible amount of people going online to purchase items, there is a need to streamline these operations for businesses to take on board and use. For example, by utilizing resources such as a Salesforce Einstein Chatbot to communicate with customers and provide a positive experience, businesses are able to note how people interact and what they can do to make this better as time goes on.

At the start of the holiday season consumer spending rose 16.8 per cent year-over-year until 5 pm ET on Thursday, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracked 80 per cent of online transactions at the top 100 US retailers.

Surging online sales and a shift away from store shopping have thinned the crowds typically seen at stores on Thanksgiving evening and the day after, Black Friday, for the past two years. But a strong labor market, rising home prices and stock markets at record highs have improved shopper appetite this year. Notwithstanding that, it has been observed that approximately 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is completed. One of the reasons for such failed transactions is an overly complicated checkout process. Websites that have established simple and easy payment procedures, on the other hand, are quite successful. Whether anyone is just getting started as an e-commerce retailer or looking to boost existing sales, choosing the right payment gateway provider, like Easy Pay Direct – https://www.easypaydirect.com/online-gateway/ – can have a significant impact on both the bottom line and customer satisfaction.

Crowds at stores in many locations around the country were reported to be strong, according to analysts and retail consultants monitoring shopper traffic across the US.

“The turnout is clearly better than the last couple of years,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. “The parking lots are full and the outlet malls are busy.”

The retail consultancy has 20 members studying customer traffic in different parts of the country.

Moody’s retail analyst Charlie O’ Shea, who was in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, reported healthy traffic at local stores including consumer electronics chain Best Buy, clothing store Old Navy and retailer Kohl’s.

“The weather is cooperating and people here are out,” he said.

The National Retail Federation is projecting that sales for November and December will rise 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent this year, versus a 4 per cent increase last year. Non-store sales, which include online sales and those from kiosks, are expected to rise 11 per cent-15 per cent to about $140 billion.

In New Jersey, around 50 people lined up a Macy’s at the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall before it opened and around 200 people stood outside the Best Buy store, many to pick up their online orders.

“Me and my husband have a bigger place and we need a bigger TV for the living room,” said Jenipher Gomes, who bought a 50-inch Samsung TV at Best Buy for $399.99. Shopper Hammad Farooq said he waited at the store for an hour to shop for laptops and monitors.

In Chicago, shoppers appeared to be slightly less enthusiastic to emerge from their turkey slumber and crowds were thin along the city’s popular shopping destination, State Street.

“There’s a few more people than normal but I wouldn’t call this crowded at all,” Deloitte auditor Eugenia Liew said as she shopped at discount retailer Target. “I expected a lot more people.”

The holiday season spanning November and December is crucial for retailers because it can account for as much as 40 per cent of annual sales. Retailers try to attract shoppers with deep discounts.

Average discounts ranged between 10 and 16 per cent with the best deals online on Thanksgiving evening available for computers, sporting goods, apparel and video games, according to data from Adobe. Cyber Monday is becoming increasingly popular as more and more online retailers get on board. Amazon leads the way, with delays expected on many high-traffic websites. Further savings can be made with vouchers from https://www.raise.com/coupons/amazon, meaning huge discounts can be found if you know where to look!

The number of customers shopping on their smartphones surged, accounting for 46 per cent of the traffic on retail websites, while traffic from desktop and laptop computers declined 11 per cent and nearly 6 per cent respectively, according to the data.___Tribune.com

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