Black Friday signaled the launch of the annual consumer holiday shopping spree with the trend of consumer purchases being made online surging 26.4%. As reported in the WSJ, internet sales reached $12.3 billion according to an estimate by Adobe Systems, Inc., which tracks activity on thousands of websites.
The same article also described a measured 5% - 9% fall in foot traffic at U.S. stores compared to the same holiday period last year. This is an ominous sign for businesses relying on traditional foot traffic this holiday season. It has become essential for businesses to have a strong presence online to capture the ever growing customer pool doing their shopping solely on the internet.
Businesses who couple this with a targeted digital advertising campaign can significantly increase their exposure to the ever important 18-49 age demographic, who are the drivers behind this surge in online sales.
Wage increases for lower income workers are part of the reason for the optimistic sentiment retailers have entering this holiday season. Retail workers, who experienced a 3.8% wage increase in the second quarter of this year, are among those workers using the extra money in their paychecks do a little more holiday shopping, according Labor Department data.
All of this bodes well for businesses this holiday season who have prepared themselves well for digital commerce. For those that haven't, there is no time better than the present.