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The Top Shopping Opportunity on Black Friday

Companies / Shopping Nov 27, 2015 - 04:14 PM GMT

By: Investment_U


Matthew Carr writes: The digital age has completely enveloped us.

It’s changed the way we do practically everything in our lives. Mostly for the better.

For one thing, it’s nearly impossible to be bored in the world we live in. We have devices on us at all times - our smartphones - that allow us to connect to all knowledge of human history.

Anytime, anywhere.

More often than not, we use these devices to play games... watch videos of cats refusing to be kissed... and check out what our friends and family are saying on Facebook (i.e. see if they’ve posted any funny cat videos).

We tap into the mind-blowing amounts of information constantly at our fingertips to search for mundane headscratchers like, “Which actress played Thelma in the Scooby-Doo movie?”

Most important of all - at least during the holidays - we use these devices to shop.

Last year, for the first time ever, more than half of all holiday purchases made online came from mobile devices.

It isn’t hard to see why. When we’re bored, we have a tendency to shop. And that’s great for all those companies trying to sell us their products 24 hours per day.

But as I said, it’s especially important this time of year. This weekend, in particular...

Thinning Crowds, Rising Profits

Anyone brave enough to venture out today knows that Black Friday is a holiday all its own... a busy one. Though it’s no longer limited to a single day.

For some retailers, Black Friday now spans the entire month of November. For others, it can last a week.

Because I cover the retail sector so much, I do go out on Black Friday to check the crowds. Admittedly, in my area, they’ve thinned.

Nationwide, traffic was down in stores last year. Sales totals fell 11%.

Yes, Black Friday, as we know it, is dying.

But online, sales are taking off...

Despite the drop in in-person attendance, Black Friday remains of the two biggest days for online shopping every year. Taking first place, of course, is Cyber Monday. Though they’re not that far apart in terms of totals.

For Black Friday, online sales are expected to hit $2.7 billion this year. That’s just shy of the $3 billion consumers are projected to spend on Cyber Monday. (It’s important to note, also, that this will be the first time Cyber Monday crosses the $3 billion mark.)

Both numbers represent double-digit increases over the same days in 2014.

And right there in the mix - as one of the fastest-growing online shopping days of the year - is Thanksgiving itself.

Spending time with family can be hard. For many, the holidays are chaotic. People often need a quiet moment to themselves. In decades past, that meant slipping outside for a smoke... or taking an extended bathroom break to realign your chi.

Nowadays? Simply pull out your iPhone, hop online and find a deal. Instant gratification.

Retailers are aware of this, so they’ve started posting more and more Turkey Day sales online. These efforts should help them rake in $1.6 billion this year - all while you chomp on pumpkin pie and watch the Dallas Cowboys lose.

More Money, Fewer Pants

This holiday season, in total, Americans are projected to buy $83 billion of gifts online. That’s at least an 11% year-over-year increase.

There is no greater benefactor of this than (Nasdaq: AMZN).

Want to know why Amazon beats the stuffing out of Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE: TGT) in the online arena? Let me ask you this... When’s the last time you heard someone say, “I’ll check to see if I can find that on”?

A turducken-sized shift has taken place in just the last handful of years. As I wrote a few weeks back, brick-and-mortar stores just can’t compete with the digital realm.

In a recent consumer survey, a staggering 51% of people said they will do most of their online shopping on Amazon. Wal-Mart was second at 16% and Target was a distant third at 3%.

Signifying the importance of Cyber Monday - and e-commerce as a whole - Wal-Mart is actually launching its Cyber Monday sales on Sunday this year.

More and more money is being spent online by consumers, particularly during the holidays. And that’s why stores like REI and Nordstrom can close on Thanksgiving Day and even Black Friday.

The retailers still make money - and consumers don’t have to go through the bother of putting on pants and finding a parking spot at the mall.

Good investing



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