Online marketing company Coremetrics said that on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, when consumers traditionally go online to buy holiday gifts, sales were up 16 percent from last year. But from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29, sales overall (in-store and online) were up just 0.5 percent from 2008. The conclusion retailers should draw from the 2009 holiday season: If you don’t have an online presence, you may soon be left out in the cold.
SMBs Go Searching for Sales
Small and medium-size businesses seem to be aware of the trend toward Internet shopping and are responding accordingly, says online advertising firm WebVisible. It reports that SMBs spent 91 percent more on search marketing in the third quarter of 2009 than they did in 2008. The average search-marketing expenditure in the third quarter was $1,658. Most of the money went to Google, chosen by over 60 percent of small businesses for search-marketing campaigns.
Spending Up, Hopes Down
Meanwhile, a survey by Discover Small Business Watch found optimism among small business owners dropping like the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball. The monthly poll of economic confidence among businesses with fewer than five employees found a dip in confidence of 12 points from October to November. The numbers were grim: 52 percent of owners said they had cash-flow problems in the past three months, up from 44 percent in October; 53 percent expected things to get worse in the next six months, up from 43 percent in October; just 11 percent anticipated higher sales in 2009.
Flying in the New Year
A study by travel research outfit Ypartnership shows vacationers will continue to tighten their seatbelts. Fewer people are planning leisure travel in the first part of 2010, many of them saying they just don’t have the money. But business travel plans remained unchanged, with 18 percent of survey respondents saying they will travel for business in early 2010. This is good news if you must travel. Industry watchers are calling 2010 the year of the deal. Read up on some tips on how to save money in the year ahead.