Blog: Online holiday shopping keeps growing

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It’s that time of year again — where families get together to eat and bond for a day, then spend the weekend shopping at local businesses, malls and virtual stores.

Each year, businesses have seen more shoppers ready to spend their money on discounted gifts and products, especially when smart phones, gaming systems and other new technology goes on sale.

In 2015, Black Friday drew 74 million shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S., and in 2016 this increased to more than 101 million, according to an article by The Balance.

Though the in-person shopping days saw an increase in the number of people, brick-and-mortar spending has decreased with the rise of digital retail.

By no means are Black Friday and Small Business Saturday going away soon, but Cyber Monday, which is part of the traditional holiday shopping weekend, has seen significant growth in sales.

Last year, Cyber Monday set the record for the most money spent online in one day, which totalled to $3.45 billion in the U.S., according to marketing research by Adobe Digital Insights.

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This year, ADI predicts online spending on Cyber Monday alone will reach $6.6 billion.

Though Black Friday and Small Business Saturday give consumers the option to shop in person, families don’t wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to spend online.

Amy Sufak, president of Red Energy Public Relations, a Colorado Springs-based marketing firm, said that many families choose to stay home during Thanksgiving weekend, when they’ll shop online.

“They may be at home but they’re often online,” Sufak said. “They’re on their mobile devices 70 to 80 percent of the time.”

Last year, Black Friday’s online sales totalled to $3.45 billion, an increase from $2.74 billion in 2015, according to ADI. This isn’t too far behind Cyber Monday.

Even shoppers who take their families out for Black Friday will still check out online discounts and deals.

Red Energy Strategies’ clients, which include stores at The Promenade Shops at Briargate and The Citadel mall, have started to increase their digital advertising the week of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday to bring in more consumers, Sufak said.

Stores with online retail options, like Walmart, Kohl’s and Target, will benefit from Cyber Monday, but smaller businesses, like those in Colorado Springs, will have to keep finding ways to keep shoppers coming to their stores during the holidays.

Editor’s note: Read more about how small businesses are handling Cyber Monday in the Nov. 17 edition of the Business Journal.