We are witnessing a major change in buying behavior and how consumers are spending their time shopping. Based upon our own portfolio of 15,000 merchants who take Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, we saw that our internet-based payments business increased 20 to 25 percent compared with last year, and our bricks-and-mortar payments business is flat year over year. This data is from the Black Friday weekend, including Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday is a well-known term for the Monday following Black Friday, which is the Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States. This marketing tactic is used by many business owners to drive online discounts and promotions. According to comScore Inc., online spending increased by 5 percent in 2009, and by 16 percent in 2010. Cyber Monday 2011 hit a record high, with U.S. online sales amounting to $1.25 billion.
What does this mean for us? Internet shopping is growing. It is obvious that consumers are especially addicted to shopping during the holiday season, and they have not closed their wallets—especially with deals like free shipping.
However, it is bad for the employment base of retail employees as well as real estate that is retail-oriented. Business owners need to address their ecommerce assets to make sure that they are maximizing their potential.
According to Reuters, department stores saw their online sales grow 60 percent this Cyber Monday compared with last year, due to their efforts on improving their websites, online advertising, and emails to customers. This has allowed department stores to collect more data on shopper trends, which has led to increases in web traffic for stores like J.C. Penney and Macy’s.
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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.