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Today In The Connected Economy: A Very Digital Holiday Season

November 30, 2020 at 11:38PM

As has been long forecast, not to mention strenuously requested by the CDC, the 2020 shopping season is shaping up to be a rather digital affair, with customers eschewing stores in favor of digitally enabled shopping paths. The shift in consumer preference is altering the market, shifting valuations and creating entirely new species of demand in the shopping population.

Digital Sales Surge on Black Friday

Though normally one of the biggest days in the brick-and-mortar shopping year, Black Friday 2020 saw half the number of consumers showing up in stores, while digital sales shot up 22 percent to reach $9 billion. PYMNTS research found that 25 percent of shoppers prefer shopping entirely digitally. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at the National Retail Federation, reportedly told the publication: “People very much seem to have heeded warnings to avoid crowded shopping and have understood that most of these deals are also available online.”

Cyber Monday Looks to Be the Biggest Digital Shopping Day to Date 

While still ongoing as of the wiring of this article, Cyber Monday is forecast to be the biggest digital shopping day ever in the U.S., forecast to bring in $12.7 billion in revenue, according to Adobe Analytics. And the promotional period will stretch across the week at many retailers. “We know many people are doing more of their holiday shopping online this year, so our biggest Cyber Week yet includes more deals and more ways to save than ever before,” Rick Gomez, Target executive vice president and chief marketing, digital and strategy officer, said in a statement.

Omni-Connected Tech Gadgets Are Booming 

It seems connected gadgets will be in a lot of stockings this year, with the wearables market estimated at a value of  $70 billion worldwide — a big valuation that disguises a temporary stall in year-on-year growth due to COVID-related manufacturing disruptions during the second quarter. The long-term forecast, however, is for double-digit percentage growth for years to come, driven by an array of new products from new mass-market firms flooding into the market.

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