How's Your Week Going So Far?

It's been a big week so far...

According to the National Retail Federation, 226 million shoppers spent $52.5 billion on Black Friday, an average of $398 per person. This is up 14 million shoppers, $7.5 billion overall, and $33 per shopper compared to last year. The stock market has been feeling optimistic all week.

From Flickr user storebukkebruse.
So far, the word on Cyber Monday is positive, too, with Multichannel Merchant reporting a 33% increase in sales over 2010 numbers. Average order value was also up - about $5 over last year to $198.  See this article for other important points - like the mobile device/tablet factor, and the effect of social media on shopping.

So, is it time to celebrate yet?

Sure, but you're not done yet, unless you're 100% sold out of merchandise and you've surpassed all of your annual goals. Sometimes early good news means bad news later - we won't really know how the 2011 holiday season is really doing until the after-Christmas sales are over.

Still, this seems like an auspicious beginning to me - customers are feeling more optimistic than last year,  merchants are offering lots of deals and options, and people may have a bit more cash for gifts, having paid down record amounts of consumer debt over the past few years.

What's next?

Keep going - your customers are still looking for gift ideas, new packages, and great deals. Shopping may slacken a bit later this week, but it will swell again the week of December 11th as shipping deadlines loom with major retailers. Make sure you're staying in touch with customers who've bought once - if they've had a good experience buying Mom's gift from you, they may come back things to give Dad, Sis, or Aunt May.

How's your week going? Drop me a line and let me know.

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