Tis the season to spend, spend, and spend some more, and it doesn't look like online shoppers are having any trouble doing that, and then some. According to Internet marketing research company comScore, holiday retail e-commerce spending for the first 46 days of the November to December 2011 season is $30.9 billion to date, up 15 percent compared to the same period one year ago.
The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the horror of holiday shopping. At this time of year, thinking about others and spending your hard earned dough on them is pretty much requisite. While this might paste a look of joy on your nearest and dearest, every gift you purchase means there’s a little less coin in the coffers for the stuff you want. This means that instead of being able to buy what you want when you want, you’re gonna have to wait. Fortunately, Add to Amazon Wish List for Chrome will help you to keep your backlog of personal indulgences in check.
Against all odds, you’ve got some extra cash on hand that you’re able to use to invest in a gadget, computer or other snazzy new piece of hardware. Unfortunately, thanks to the unscrupulous technobabble employed by marketers, similar feature sets and the constantly shifting topography of the technological landscape, shopping for the piece of hardware that’s best suited to your needs can be a nightmare. Fortunately, The Wirecutter is here to wake you up, stroke your hair and whisper that everything’s gonna be OK.
Imagine you found a great deal on a flux capacitor. Not only does it make time travel possible, but the new version is able to freeze time and only requires half a gigawatt to operate. Plus, it's 33 percent cheaper than the one Doc Brown built into the DeLorean. Sounds like a no brainer, until you read a couple online reviews claiming it set their cars on fire. And so you remove it from your shopping cart. This isn't unusual, and according to a new study, it happens far more often than not.
The United States has a long history of fighting against unfair taxes (Boston Tea Party, anyone?), and while Amazon's battle is of a different sort than when the country was founded, the e-tailer feels as though it's the victim of greed by state officials who have the audacity to seek sales tax. Rather than comply with new laws that keep popping up around the country, Amazon has chosen to take its ball and run to different playgrounds, most recently turning its back on Connecticut.
The more we hear about Living Social's meteoric rise, the more we think Groupon should have taken that Google buyout offer. In the process of acquiring a company called SocialMedia, Living Social disclosed some financial data to value the shares they were handing over in the deal. According to the disclosure, Living Social is valued at $2.9 billion, and sees $50 million in monthly revenue.
Bloomberg is reporting that Groupon is now printing money. By which we mean, the company is mulling an IPO valued at a whopping $25 billion. Groupon has only been in operation for two years, but already banks are reportedly unlikely to assign a value less than $15 billion, and the higher number Groupon is gunning for is a real possibility. Who'd have thought coupons were so big?
Tapping into its repository of "thousands upon thousands of tech deals" posted over the past couple of years, DealNews made some seemingly bold pricing predictions for 12 different electronic gadgets for 2011. Here are some of the more interesting ones:
Standalone Blu-ray player: $39
55-inch LCD HDTV: $599
DSLR Camera: $299
Nintendo Wii: $99
A large-screen 55-inch LCD TV for $599? That seems preposterous considering that the lowest price DealNews could find in 2009 was $1,115 for an LG 55-inch 120Hz LCD screen, and that doesn't include Fry's $110 shipping charge. But in 2010, Walmart at one point sold an Element 55-inch model for $699 with free shipping (it's now listed at $749). Perhaps the list isn't so far-fetched after all.
As to the $39 Blu-ray player, DealNews says "you'll probably see a lot of Blu-ray players bundled as extras with TVs, but you'll also see them as doorbusters and priced like crockpots." In case you're wondering, the lowest price they found in 2010 was $50, which bought a Samsung BD-C5500 from HP.
We're more skeptical of seeing Nintendo slash the price of its Wii console 33 percent from $150 (lowest in 2010) to $99. DealNews says to "expect more price drops as new models come out and competition drives down prices," but the Wii is already the least expensive out of the three modern consoles, with no Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4 in sight.
What are your tech predictions for 2011? Hit the jump and share!
The bean counters over at Mastercard tallied up all the receipts and determined that eCommerce sales for the entire holiday shopping season -- October 31 to December 24 -- outpaced last year's figures by 15.4 percent.
"Today eCommerce accounts for a much larger share of overall retail sales compared to a few years ago. And during this holiday season, it registered double digit growth for 6 out of 7 weeks," noted Michael McNamara, Vice President, for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. "In terms of sub-categories, apparel was the clear leader, helping increase the channel’s overall lift. In terms of share, online apparel sales during the holiday season accounted for 18.8 percent of total sales in that category, compared to 16.9 percent in 2009. As for some of the other sub-sectors, online electronics, not surprisingly, also recorded significant gains, while Jewelry, although still in positive territory, lagged behind."
Online shoppers bought $36.4 billion worth of goods this holiday shopping season, highlighted by 6 days that surpassed $1 billion in sales, compared with 3 days in 2009, according to Mastercard.
To say Cyber Monday "was a success" would be like saying Michelangelo did a "good Job" painting the Sistine Chapel. Neither description does their respective events justice. According to comScore's number crunching, this year's Cyber Monday posted $1.028 billion in online spending, a 16 percent increase over one year ago and the biggest online spending day in the history of mankind.
"Cyber Monday was a historic day for e-commerce as we saw daily spending surpass $1 billion for the first time," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news. At the same time, it’s important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers’ heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season. So, while we anticipate that there will be more billion-dollar spending days ahead as we get deeper into the season, only time will tell if overall consumer online spending remains at the elevated levels we’ve seen thus far."
While Cyber Monday set a new record, sales are up across the board so far this holiday shopping season. Consumers spent $13.56 billion from November 1-29, a 13 percent increase over last year, and $407 million on Thanksgiving Day, a whopping 28 percent jump from a year ago. Black Friday sales were up too, and so were the following weekend sales figures.