Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Cyber Monday Raindance

Since Cyber Monday's inception in 2005, the online retail's alternative to Black Friday has experienced explosive growth. With the news this week by ComScore that 2011 Cyber Monday sales surpassed $1.3 billion -- more than $300,000 million generated last year -- it's clear that the Digital Raindance is working. Cyber Monday 2011 was the biggest day for online shopping in U.S. history and marked the launch of the most fruitful retail period of the year. Traditionally, more than 80 percent of retail stores annual sales are generated between Cyber Monday and Christmas Day. But online retail is changing the game. This year online shopping generated more than $15 billion -- up by 15 percent -- in the four weeks of November before the bricks-and-mortar Black Friday bonanza.  And even on Black Friday, more than $800 million in sales were accounted for online. It's obvious that shoppers are becoming more comfortable buying online, but the "digitizing" of goods has also fueled online retail. E-readers are replacing the production of physical books and digital music and movie downloads are replacing the production and shipping of CDs and DVDs. The good news for grocery stores is that our digestive system hasn't yet figured out how to absorb "digital nourishment".

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