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Key Trends In Online Shopping This Holiday Season

Key Trends In Online Shopping This Holiday Season

As online retailers kick off Cyber Monday sales, early Black Friday numbers this holiday season seem to be mixed. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is reporting that 154 million shoppers made purchases over Black Friday weekend, up from 151 million in 2015. However, those 154 million consumers spent an average of only $290, down from $300 last year.

Further Mixed Results

NRF data also shows no surprises when it comes to the secular shift from brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce. This weekend, more than 108 million shoppers made online purchases, up from 103 million in 2015. Only 99 million shoppers went to stores during Black Friday weekend, 3 million less than a year ago.

For retail investors, perhaps the most important statistic that NRF reported is that only 9 percent of shoppers say they finished their holiday shopping over the weekend, meaning there’s still plenty of holiday business remaining.

Looking ahead to the rest of the holiday season, comScore believes technology will dominate online shopping.

“[The] 2016 holiday season will be all about gadgets – more connected devices than ever before are gaining adoption for the first time or becoming mainstream,” the firm said.

Streaming TV devices, such as Rokus,, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)’s fire TV, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)’s Chromecast and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s Apple TV, remain the most popular in-home connected devices.

ComScore noted that the 2016 holiday shopping season should get a boost from two extra calendar days than 2015, strong spending momentum from the first three quarters of the year, low gas prices and an uptick in wage growth.

However, there are plenty of headwinds as well. The firm mentions post-election hangover, increasingly negative consumer sentiment, job security concerns and weather among the factors retail investors should monitor closely.

At last check, the SPDR S&P Retail (ETF) (NYSE: XRT) was down 0.77 percent on the day to trade at $46.28. Over the past five trading days, however, the ETF is up 2.1 percent.


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