While most Americans are enjoying a needed rest after their Thanksgiving meal, or maybe rushing out to shop for the best deals…
…many astute business owners are keeping a sharp eye on the sales data that comes out of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all the shopping days in between.
Consumer spending patterns can tell you a lot…
…like how optimistic consumers are about the economy. The more optimistic, the more they’re willing to spend (and that may mean it’s time to increase inventory).
…or like changes in consumer behavior. Big changes.
And the latter is where we get our #1 takeaway from Black Friday this year.
So let’s take a look…
Winners and Losers
When you look at the winners and losers, there are some clear lessons to take back to your business.
According to ShopperTrak, brick and mortar stores were the losers this holiday weekend. There were some exceptions — like J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Best Buy that reported strong sales — but overall the industry saw revenue fall 10.4% from last year.
And 3 million less people walked into traditional stores this year, too.
The number of online shoppers, however, grew by 6 million.
Consumers spent a record $3.34 billion online on Black Friday alone, a 21.6% increase over 2015.
That’s clearly a win for Amazon.com, but it’s also a win for traditional stores like Walmart and Target who have figured out how to sell more online, too. (That’s in contrast to Macy’s, who hasn’t seemed to figure it out and saw their website crash on Black Friday.)
The Bigger Picture
Now here’s the lesson for your business:
A record $1.2 billion of those online Black Friday sales were made from mobile devices, a 33% increase over last year.
That is further evidence that just having a website isn’t good enough anymore.
Your website must also be easy to use on a mobile device — and that’s the #1 takeaway from Black Friday this year. Google has even started giving preference to mobile sites in their search results, making it harder for people to even find a website that’s not “mobile responsive,” as it’s called.
So how do you know if your website is mobile responsive? Google has a great guide right here.
We’re not turning into a marketing advice column, but we are interested in your bottomline.
And that means keeping up with the times.
A mobile responsive site is a must, but that’s just the beginning. You also have to consider factors like:
Can the mobile user easily buy something from your site? Book an appointment? Schedule a consultation? Find you on Google Maps? Call your business with one tap of the finger?
It’s critical to your bottomline that they can.
What To Do Next
If you’re buying gifts this holiday season, you can take a well-deserved break this weekend from buying presents. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, and you still have a few weeks to get things in order and find the perfect presents.
So maybe instead of shopping ‘til you drop, try this 3-step action plan:
- First, do the holidays feel expensive? Then check out our Cash Flow Optimization guide if you haven’t already. You’ll discover how to put more money in your pocket — without cutting back, limiting your lifestyle or even increasing your income — to help you get through the year a little bit richer. You can find that Cash Flow guide right here.
And yes, you can download it from your phone.
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive. As Black Friday sales showed us, mobile users are growing and the trend is not going away. So here’s the link to Google’s guide on mobile websites again — check it out or send it to someone on your team.
- Get that tax deduction. Don’t forget, if you invest in technology updates for your business before the end of the year, it’s a tax write-off. But you better hurry, the new year is just around the corner.
That’s it for this week.
Build the life you love,
The Builders at Wealth Factory
What is Living Wealthy Weekly?
Each week we share timely trends, news stories, and current events that affect your life. We help you see the impact, personally and socially, and give you possible solutions to avoid any negative effects. We also give you additional links and resources if you want to investigate further. The purpose is not to be the last word on any topic. Rather it’s to help us all stay informed of what’s going on in the world without letting those events negatively impact your lifestyle. Our goal is to help us all live richer, fuller lives from a position of financial strength. This allows you to weather economic hard times, and seize whatever new opportunities arise in our changing world.