Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tis the Season to be shopping!

After a crazy jammed backed weekend of shopping, discounts, giveaways, toys, and so much more! Tis the season, and it's time for all the shoppers to be clicking onto their computers for the later part of finishing up shopping.

It seems to be more competive as ever online this year while more and more companies offering free shipping, more discounts, other great offers this christmas gift giving season.

The tread of shopping online on the Monday after Thanksgiving is growing so big and calling it "Cyber Monday" by many National Retail Federation. Retailers like Circuit City Stores Inc. are stepping up to the plate on "Cyber Monday" by offered special one-day coupons. While, Walmart.com began the fight on Monday offering a five-day special on such online-only items as big as some flat-screen TVs.

To even throw more joy into the season and Cyber Monday, the National Retail Fed. launched a website called CyberMonday.com, where the idea is to pull all the online discounts targeting the cyber monday and through the holiday season from nearly 400 retailers. And the early reports are showing that all the christmas incentives seem to be working.

Meany retailers are already reporting as high as 60 percent increase in website traffic and an 80 percent increase in online sales through noon Monday.

Though the first Monday after Thanksgiving starts the Christmas shopping online season, its reported it will not be the busiest day for retailers. Internet research firm comScore Networks Inc. is predicting the days to come and specificially either Dec. 11 or Dec. 12, making Cyber Monday either the ninth or tenth busiest online shopping day. Last year, the first Monday after Thanksgiving was the ninth busiest day.

Still, Cyber Monday is marking the Christmas shopping season for many merchants for this Holiday season.

As for online holiday sales growth, JupiterResearch forecasts an 18 percent increase for online sales to $32 billion. That is slightly below the 23 percent pace in the previous year.

Analysts are carefully monitoring the rivalry between online-only stores and brick and mortar stores, which are overtaking the lead in the online market share wars. According to comScore, from 2003 to 2005, sales growth for brick and mortar stores' online divisions grew twice the rate of that of online-only merchants.

Stores that operate both e-commerce sites and physical stores are realizing they can "use the Internet to not only sell product but also drive traffic to their stores, " said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks.

Consumer electronics retailer Circuit City offered special coupons just for Monday, including additional savings of $100 on TV purchases of $1,700 and up, as well as an additional $50 savings on home audio systems purchases of $400 and up.

Throughout the holiday season, Circuit City is giving $24 gift cards to customers if their online order is not ready for pick up at the stores in 24 minutes.

Walmart.com, which redesigned its Web site earlier in November, unveiled Monday 50 online only specials offers, from cashere scarves to flat-panel plasma TVs, that will be available through Dec. 1. Carter Cast, CEO of walmart.com, said it will be replacing sold-out items with new offers this week.

Among the most popular items Monday on walmart.com were $289 GPS units by Garmin and 3 megapixel digital cameras by Philips.

The pure online players are fighting back with free shipping and other deals.

Online retailer Amazon.com pushed shoppers to get started early by holding an ongoing poll to select one steeply discounted gift item to be offered in limited supplies beginning on Thanksgiving day, on top of other deals.

Online jewelry retailer Bluenile.com is offering for the first time free overnight shipping to its best customers, a program that will run through Valentine's Day. It also sent out e-mails Monday offering 10 percent discounts to customers through Dec. 7.

Online closeout retailer Overstock.com for the first time offered free shipping offers, which started Thanksgiving Day and ends Tuesday, according to Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com.

"We're all competing on shipping promotions," Byrne said.

No comments: