I want you all to stop for a second and really try to wrap your brains around the number five-hundred and ninety-five million. I'll even write it out; 595,000,000. See how many zeroes that is? It's an enormous number, well over half a billion. It almost boggles the mind to think that we spent the whole of this mighty sum shopping online for Black Friday.
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ComScore reports that this number represents an 11% boost in spending over last year. This is good news for retailers, who have spent the last few weeks feverishly trying to entice customers with all manner of insane deals. Now, it appears they succeeded.
While the big day itself saw some wild sales, overall holiday spending is down a tad. "Only" 10.57 billion has been spent on holiday gifts so far this year, down 3% from last year. That lost 3% could very well be picked up over Cyber Monday and the next few days of sales. Both Amazon and Wal-Mart are seeing huge boosts to their online sales. Apple leads the pack, with a 39% increase in unique visitors over Black Friday.
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Customers are choosing to buy while the deals are hot, in order to make the most of their holiday budget. They're not spending much less, but they are spending much smarter. Even if this holiday season doesn't quite match last year's, I think we'll end up doing alright. A little decline in spending due to a bone-rattling recession is to be expected. 3% isn't going to send our economy into a tailspin.