Posted November 26, 2008 12:05 am by with 5 comments

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It’s officially over folks. We are going back to slide rules and abacuses. Throw away your computers because there is a report that in the first 23 days of November online sales overall is off – gulp- 4%. That’s right 4%. Add a zero that percentage and you are talking about the stock market losses in recent months. So is this drop something that warrants concern or is it too early to tell?

This data comes from comScore so there will likely be enough skepticism about the numbers just on that alone. Also, consider we haven’t even hit Black Monday (online’s answer to the day after Thanksgiving’s shopping Black Friday) and this seems t be a bit alarmist IMHO. For the article go to the WSJ and check out the information.

As with all data and statistics, the analysis is what makes the difference. October online sales were up only 1% but I would say that at least they were up. Look at what is surrounding everyone with regard to our economy. Doom meet gloom. Gloom, say hello to dread. You get the picture.

As you get a bit deeper into this short article you then get to an explanation that takes the edge off of this news. It appears that online holiday shoppers are waiting later into the shopping season to see what kind of deals they can get. Maybe it’s just that online holiday purchasing has become so prevalent that people are getting comfortable with holding out and waiting. Delivery has gotten better and better as the years have gone by so there is a greater comfort level with waiting longer to purchase products.

Look, let’s be realistic here. Through October online sales were up 9% for the year. Not bad considering the economic climate. Things have slowed after but is that the end of the world? The data even shows that 33% of the people have not even done any holiday shopping yet. If there are two things that anyone should avoid when it comes to measuring these things is irrational exuberance on the upside and irrational gloominess on the downside. Realism needs to take root at some point. This quote kind of says it all:

The firm [comScore] projects that retail spending online in the months of November and December will total $29.2 billion, flat from the same period last year — a dreary sign for online retailers, many of which had grown accustomed to double-digit gains.

I just have to say this. If anyone grows accustomed to or expects double-digit gains year over year for ANYTHING then they are not a business person. They are an idiot. That’s not how life or business works; not even in this magical internet economy. Relax folks. Things aren’t great but they are not completely crapping out. Strap in for tighter times but take your finger off the trigger. It’s not that bad ……. yet?

  • Jordan McCollum

    I knew there was a reason I was feeling like my life was vague and without purpose 😉
    Thanks, Frank!

  • SEO

    Everything goes in cycles and that is also true for online sales…………they will return in due time 🙂

  • There was still decent online sales this year but not nearly as expected.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..ExactFactor: An SEO Tool Review

  • This only on the main stream side of things….what about on the billion dollar adult industry side…/

  • I am sure on 100% the things will go better, we need just more patience and belief.