Thanks to the economy, online sales took a downward plunge in 2007, but recent reports from the Wall Street Journal (source) show that they’re finally bouncing back, especially as of Black Friday 2011, when a significant turning point in overall U.S. online sales was marked. Online sales grew 24.3% – that’s a quote straight from the article, and it’s one that online marketers will definitely want to sit up and pay full attention to. CNET also chimed in, citing 26% as the official rise in shopping on Black Friday 2011.
While no one is comfortable in saying that all is well with the U.S. economy, the fact that online sales are increasing after several years of plummeting and then plateauing is one that online merchants will want to keep in mind when planning promotions, sales, and advertising campaigns.
Why are online sales increasing, and how can you ride the wave? Simple: shopping online is convenient, and from a merchant’s standpoint, operating a website can be much more cost-effective and efficient than operating a brick and mortar store. Do away with a lot of the costs associated with running a physical store and staffing it with trained employees, and focus instead on an optimized website that is always on the leading edge in terms of marketing and search engine optimization.