In Weak Shopping Environment, Cyber Monday Is Where It's At
Consumers continue to shift their shopping habits from stores to screens.
While the Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping period is expected to be pretty lackluster this year, one bright spot -- if you can call it that -- is that Cyber Monday is expected to clock double-digit growth numbers, according to a report from Los Angeles-based industry research firm, IBISWorld.
Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, is expected to generate $1.8 billion in sales, a 13.1 percent increase over Cyber Monday spending in 2012. While that's down from the 21 percent growth seen last year, it continues to signal to retailers that online is where it's at. Cyber Monday sales have increased by double digits every year since 2010.
The growth in online shopping is more an indication of changing consumer behaviors than it is a sign of a robust shopping period, IBIS says. Also, while online sales are growing, consumers are still expected to spend almost eight times in stores on Black Friday what they are expected to spend on Cyber Monday online.
The day after Thanksgiving -- Black Friday -- is historically the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season and is expected to generate $13.6 billion in revenue, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2012, according to estimates from IBIS. That’s less than the 5.9 percent year-over-year increase in spending recorded in 2012.
Faced with a shorter period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year than most years, retailers are opening their doors earlier and earlier. Big-box retailers including Wal-Mart, Macy’s and JC Penney will open Thanksgiving Day this year in an effort to lure in more foot traffic.
Related: Why Wait Until Saturday? Small Businesses Seek Black Friday Buzz
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.