It’s been a challenging few years for retailers, both online and offline, but things are starting to look up. The 2010 holiday season saw more than a five percent growth when compared to the year prior. Even more promising, however, is what’s happening to online retail: e-commerce sites saw a 15.4% increase in 2010.
Google gives us the full details on their official Google Retail blog, and they do it by compiling studies from a number of outside companies (HitWise, comScore, SpendingPulse, etc.). In addition to seeing strong overall growth, there were several specific days and industries that did particularly well.
One of those days, unsurprisingly, was Cyber Monday. This “day for online shopping” saw just short of a billion dollars in sales, which put it at more than 25% higher than in 2009. Additionally, Black Friday saw a big boost both online and offline, and a full 61% online sales increase on “Free Shipping Day” (the day when retailers and shipping providers band together to provide customers with last minute free shipping from e-commerce sites).
There are also several industries that are starting to look healthy again, with the most noteworthy being apparel. While last year saw a drop in apparel sales, this year saw more than a 10% increase in total revenue for the industry. Jewelry followed suit with an 8.4% increase.
Google points to the success of Free Shipping Day as indicating a more aware and savvy shopping public. In previous years, the “peak” for online shopping happened before this “final day to safely ship,” and dwindled as the weekend approached (this year’s “Free Shipping Day” happened on Friday, December 17th).
Another interesting influencing factor in online retail may have been the cold temperatures on the east coast, which in some regions included snowstorms. It’s entirely possible that this weather prompted some users to hit the web rather than the icy roads.