How Social Media Boosted Black Friday Statistics

Black Friday 2010 is a strong example of how social media and the Internet are changing the way consumers shop.

Shoppers who chose to scour the Internet instead of the malls on Black Friday gave online merchants a 16 percent revenue increase from 2009.

According to Coremetrics, online shoppers also spent more this year on average than last Black Friday. The Internet research company reported the average order hovered around $190.80, which is 12 percent higher than the 2009 Black Friday average purchase of $170.19.

Shopping from cell phones is also on the rise, accounting for 5.6 percent of all sales.

This Coremetrics data shows, though consumers are spending more online, they are becoming smarter spenders. When they make purchases, they’re viewing fewer items per site, looking at fewer pages and doing fewer on-site searches, suggesting they’ve done their research ahead of time and know what they want when they decide to make a purchase.

Companies also used Facebook and Twitter to acquire Black Friday business. Consumers appear increasingly savvy about their favorite brands’ social presence and are turning to their networks on social sites for information about deals and inventory levels.

This represents a growing shift from traditional advertising to cheaper, more direct outlets. One example is Amazon.com posting its Kindle news on Twitter. On Nov. 23, 2010, the Kindle Team tweeted: “Black Friday Deal: Limited number of previous gen Kindle (same E Ink as current Nook) for just $89! Deal starts 11/26 at 9 am PST.”

Some Twitter accounts were created simply to serve as a headquarter for all deal news. According to mediabistro.com, @BlackFriday served as the basic Black Friday Twitter account. It listed deals almost every hour from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and even Seven Eleven. Posted deals included Macs, e-readers, free shipping offers, Blu-Ray players and binoculars.

This is only the beginning. In coming years, there will be an increased reliance on social media to gather up-to-the-minute information on deals, instead of waiting on the newspaper to be delivered for those glossy ads and coupons. We will also see more Internet orders instead of visits to brick-and-mortar businesses. While it may be more efficient, it is almost the end of an era. After all, what is the day after Thanksgiving without a little hustle and bustle?

Did you rely more on Internet ordering this year?
Do you believe Black Friday in-store shopping will become a novelty of the past?

By Katie Breaseale

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