RAPAPORT... The online retail sector delivered strong results on Black Friday 2009, compared with the same day of 2008, according to Coremetrics’ second annual Black Friday Benchmark Report. On average, online shoppers spent $170.19 per completed transaction on November 27, an uptick of 35 percent from Black Friday 2008. Consumers also bought 18 percent more items per order this year, while their shopping cart abandonment rate —measuring the number of transactions that did not complete online — was 65 percent, or slightly lower than the rate recorded for 2008.
The average order value for jewelry this Black Friday was $271.74, an increase of 25 percent from one year ago, according to the online transaction data collected by Coremetrics. Consumers ordered an average of 1.54 jewelry items per order, a drop of 17 percent from the average order placed on Black Friday 2008.
The number of on-site searches for jewelry per shopping session dropped 26 percent from one year ago to 12.4 percent, possibly indicating that more shoppers knew exactly what they intended to buy ahead of time. The average length of individual shopping sessions dropped 5.7 percent to six minutes and 41 seconds. The shopping cart abandonment rate was 78 percent, up 4.2 percent from 2008, which meant that nearly eight in 10 shoppers did not place their orders online this year.
Department stores websites attracted more new shoppers this year, with total new traffic up nearly 152 percent. Coremetrics found that shoppers at these sites spent $129.26 per order, down from $139.32 one year ago, with 3.22 items listed per order, versus 4.8 items per order in 2008. The shopping cart abandonment rate was 78.2 percent, up from 74 percent one year ago. On Black Friday 2009, online shoppers were thriftier, savvier and better at hunting for bargains, John Squire, Coremetrics’ chief strategy officer, noted.
"There are fewer online retailers this year than last year," Squire explained. "Those who survived the first several months of the downturn are pulling out all the stops to lure shoppers with aggressive incentives. The net effect is a jump in the amount the average person spends online and in the number of things they're willing to purchase per order."