In a creative way to cope with the recession, some shoppers decided to nab their Black Friday sales by logging onto each company’s website rather than standing in line at a physical store. Although previous years have seen the Monday following Thanksgiving (also known as “Cyber Monday) as more responsible for online sales, several merchants including Kohl’s, Old Navy, Aeropostale and New York and Company offered their Black Friday deals online as well as in stores. Target even elected to have special “online only” deals beginning on Thanksgiving that were as enticing as a digital camera and memory card package for just $99.
Stores that do not have a physical presence at all, such as Overstock.com and OnlineShoes.com got into the fun as well, by offering special Black Friday e-mail alerts, and often using the perk of free shipping. Kohl’s even offered an online shopping list function that enabled users to both sift through the online deals to find those that were most relevant, as well as print out a paper list that would help them find the most appropriate deals in the store itself.
According to the Associated Press, online shopping brought a 16 percent revenue increase to those merchants who decided to offer it beginning on Thanksgiving Day. The spending hike was part of an overall 33 percent rise in online shopping for the holiday, which complemented larger than usual crowds seen in stores as well.
The spending data collected over the weekend so far seems to be a promising sign for beleaguered retailers who’ve been hit hard because of the economic recession. Indeed, President Barack Obama has been doing his best to encourage consumers to find confidence in spending again, but the healthy Black Friday sales figures are one of the first clear indicators that the American public is beginning to take his words to heart.