Real Time Communications Featured Article

Reports: Real Time Communications and Mobile Contributing to Rise of Online Holiday Shopping

December 06, 2014

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?

Whether your answer is ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ there’s a good chance most or all of your holiday dollars will be spent online.

Brick-and-mortar Black Friday sales continue to be a major draw each year, but are getting a run for their money by e-commerce retail Cyber Monday promotions.

This change is driven by the availability of real-time communications and unified communications (UC) options like mobile and web, which have changed all aspects of how people live their lives, including how they do their holiday shopping.

For retailers overall, the writing is on the wall: to hit yearly sales targets, online is the place to be.

Online shopping is off to a good start, with comScore noting that spending in this area on Thanksgiving in the U.S. was $1 billion, and Black Friday topped $1.5 billion, representing 32 percent and 26 percent growth over 2013.

In a report released this week, Forrester Research predicted total 2014 holiday spend online in the U.S. will be $89 billion, up 13 percent from last year. (Yes, that’s billion with a B.) IBM said online sales in the first few days of the official holiday shopping season were up 17 percent from 2013.

But, the National Retail Federation said overall retails sales during the first four days of the 2014 holiday shopping season were down 11 percent year over year. Retailers have to hope the e-commerce will help close the gap.

Mobile is a major driver for online buying, accounting for nearly a third of sales, IBM reported.

In the U.S., a number of physical stores were closed on Thanksgiving Day ( despite the many that still made headlines for their opening while dinner was traditionally being served for this holiday), so shoppers turned to deals online, many of them browsing and buying from mobile devices that conveniently let them check items off their gift-giving lists even in the midst of travel and other holiday-related activities.

Other trends contributing to the growth of online holiday shopping include more online wallet share, more consumers with smartphones,  and more new online buyers.

So, if you’re still searching for the perfect gifts and hope or expect to find them at great prices online, you’re in good company. Grab your mobile device and get thee shopping done!

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