State Parks Offers Outdoors Over Stores on Black Friday November 25

State Parks Press – State Parks Offers Outdoors Over Stores on Black Friday November 25

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) encourages all to freely enjoy state parks on Black Friday November 25. As an alternative to busy shopping centers, several parks across the state are offering special events and programs such as the Buy Nothing Day that allow visitors to recycle and repurpose items into gifts, the Thanksgiving Walk Off and even a surprise visit from Santa on Black Friday that is sure to bring enjoyment and excitement.

We encourage all to escape, explore and experience all that state parks have to offer,” said State Park Commissioner Rose Harvey.

State Parks are open year round and while our properties are family friendly and affordable they are free to enter on Black Friday. Extend the holiday gathering with family and friends by visiting a state park and connecting with nature and each other.

For a full list of state park programs on Black Friday and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend please visit http://www.nysparks.com. Click on November Events right on the homepage.

While a majority of state parks do not charge this time of year the few parks that do such as Niagara Falls in Niagara County, Walkway Over the Hudson in Dutchess and Ulster counties, Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Westchester County, Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, Connetquot River State Park Preserve and Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Suffolk County and others are waiving the vehicle entry fee for Black Friday November 25.

 

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Irish retail sales get ‘Black Friday’ boost in November, says CSO

THE IRISH TIMES – Jan 5, 2017

Irish Retail sales get ‘Black Friday’ boost in November, says CSO Sales of electrical goods showed the biggest jump, up 17% with cosmetics up 7.9%

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Email App Share to LinkedIn Retail sales rose by 0.9 per cent from October to November and were up 4.3 per cent on an annual basis, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. If car sales are excluded from the figures, retail sales jumped 3.1 per cent month-on-month and were up 4.9 per cent versus the same month a year earlier.

The value of sales also rose, up 0.6 per cent in November versus the previous month and by 2.1 per cent annually. Excluding car sales, there was a 1.8 per cent monthly jump and a a yearly increase of 2.2 per cent. Sales of electrical goods showed the biggest monthly jump, rising 17 per cent. Pharmaceuticals, medicals and cosmetic articles sales, rose by 7.9 per cent.

Car sales showed the biggest monthly decline, down 1 per cent, followed by bars, down 0.9 per cent. Davy analyst David McNamara attributed the jump in retail sales to Black Friday offers.

Mr McNamara said early indications from industry body Retail Ireland suggest that December sales were slightly softer than expectations but still up significantly on the same month a year earlier.

“Consumer spending should post another robust gain in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Dermot O’Leary, chief economist with Goodbody said the latest figures show spending strengthening after its post-Brexit lull with core retail sales were the highest in nine years.

“A weak sterling should ensure that price deflation will remain a feature on the Irish high street in 2017,” he said.

Elsewhere, Merrion chief economist Alan McQuaid forecast headline retail sales volume growth for 2016 as a whole of just over 6.0 per cent, which he described as

“a healthy performance all things considered, albeit lower than the 8.2 per cent growth posted in 2015.”

“Personal spending growth is expected to slow further in 2017 on an uncertain global backdrop but still remain positive, especially as we see sterling appreciating against the euro this year on Eurozone political worries,” Mr McQuaid said.

Related News

Irish Hospitals see highest number on trolleys for a decade in November 2016

IRISH RETAIL SALES GET A BOOST FROM BLACK FRIDAY IN NOVEMBER

IRISH RETAIL SALES GET A BOOST FROM BLACK FRIDAY IN NOVEMBER

The latest retail figures for November show a strong month, boosted by ‘Black Friday’. Retail sales excluding motors were up a massive 3.1% month-on-month (mom) and 4.9% year-on-year (yoy). This compares to a 3.8% annual gain in October.

Electrical goods and cosmetics performed best but at a price of heavy discounting – retail prices were down 1.2% on the month and 2.5% on last year.

Early evidence from industry body Retail Ireland suggests that December sales were slightly softer than expectations but still well up on December 2015. So consumer spending should post another robust gain in the fourth quarter.

According to Davy Stockbrokers, a recent phenomenon in the November data has been the boost in sales volumes from the marketing around ‘Black Friday’. In November 2015, retail sales (ex-motors) were up 2.1% mom, and this year’s bounce has been even more pronounced. The period is also marked by heavy discounting – retail prices were down 1.2% on the month and annual deflation accelerated to 2.5% from 1.9% in October.”

Related News: Irish Hospitals see highest number on trolleys for a decade in November 2016

Source: www.businessworld.ie

Apple Watch Sales Were Way Up Over The Holidays, Slice Data Shows

The device saw a huge spike in online sales over Cyber Weekend, particularly on Black Friday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook promised big Apple Watch Sales during the holiday season, and new data from Slice Intelligence suggests that the company delivered.

Slice, which draws its data from online receipts, says Watch sales were up 57% from sales in November and December of 2015. Apple had only one model of Watch available in 2015, the Series 1, available in 38mm and 42mm sizes. In November and December 2016, customers could choose the Series 1, the new Series 2, or the Nike Edition of the Watch.

In terms of revenue, Slice believes Watch revenues were up 111% during November compared to November 2015. Revenue from sales of the device during December were up 55% from last year.

Cook said during a Reuters interview December 6th that internal sales numbers showed that Apple Watch sold a lot during the first shopping week of the holiday season. Cook said “sell through” (actual sales, not just inventory shipped to stores) during the first week of the holiday season was the strongest the product has ever seen.

Slice says online sales of the device showed a large spike over Cyber Weekend (November 25th through November 28th), particularly on Black Friday (November 25th).

Most people chose the larger 42mm Apple Watch over the 38mm size this holiday season, the Slice data show, but not by a wide margin. Slice says the smaller version was more popular during the holidays last year.

Neil Cybart, an analyst with Above Avalon, said in early December Apple Watch could sell close to 5 million units this holiday quarter, making it the best quarter yet for the device. Since Slice tracks online sales, it doesn’t provide estimates of total unit sales.

Slice’s data is based on actual online purchase data and e-reciepts. Its Apple Watch sales analysis is based on a sample of more than 20,000 online shoppers.

 

2-Black Friday gives one-off boost to retail sales in Brazil

ReutersBRASILIA, Jan 10

Retail sales in Brazil rose more than forecast in November as early holiday discounts boosted demand for electronics and home appliances, offering temporary relief amid expectations of a weaker December. Retail sales volumes excluding cars and building materials rose 2.0 percent in November from October after falling for four consecutive months, figures from government statistics agency IBGE showed on Tuesday.

The increase, the sharpest since July 2013, far exceeded the rise of 0.4 percent that economists in a Reuters poll expected. The November surprise reinforces the growing popularity of Black Friday discounts in Brazil. Sales rose 2.1 percent from October for home appliances and furniture, and increased 4.3 percent for computers and office supplies. “The performance of these segments in November suggests some early shopping for Christmas, a trend that has strengthened every year,” IBGE said in a statement.

In 2014 and 2015, November sales also surpassed market expectations by a wide margin, only to plunge in December. “The November picture is clouded by the Black Friday effect,” economists with São Paulo-based consultancy MCM wrote in a note. “The likely anticipation of Christmas shopping should mean that sales have dropped in December.” Black Friday took place on Nov. 25 even as Brazilians do not traditionally celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday that precedes it in the United States.

The MCM economists said they saw no signs that the retail sector would stabilize in the near term. Brazil has been stuck in a recession since late 2014, with more than 12 million unemployed. Sales fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier, less sharply than the Reuters poll respondents’ expectations of a 5.45 percent drop.

Yields on interest rate futures rose slightly as traders reduced bets on an aggressive rate cut by the central bank on Wednesday. A broader retail measure that includes sales of automobiles and building materials rose 0.6 percent from October with seasonal adjustments.

The 15 e-Commerce Trends Driving Retail in 2017

As retailers continue to build their digital capabilities and work towards a completely unified operational approach they are placing an increased emphasis on e-commerce firepower. To uncover the major e-commerce trends that will have the greatest impact on retail in 2017 and beyond, We analyzed more than 50 digital and e-commerce projects from major retailers and highlighted the common themes.

The Top 15 eCommerce trends for 2017

Its Top 15 e-Commerce Trends for 2017 report spotlights the e-commerce trends that will dominate the next 12 months and will impact both the way retailers operate and consumers shop.

The entire report can be found here. Below is a quick look at the Top 15 e-Commerce Trends to Watch Out For in 2017.

The End of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Although both days set sales records in 2016 the report states a new trend will emerge: Cyber November. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will no longer signal the start of the holiday shopping season, but will simply be part of a longer, more digitally focused shopping season that will dominate November and December.

Real-Time Customization

Both the digital and the in-store shopping experience will adapt to consumers in real-time. Shoppers will increasingly have access to unique content: product recommendations and add-ons chosen based on their preferences, geographic location, market trends, demographic group, etc Lifestyle Analysis.

Artificial Intelligence

In 2017, many consumers will have their first interaction with a chatbot, a fully automated chat agent that will answer their questions and act as the first point of contact with the brand. The bots increase the number of platforms on which a brand can transact by offering guided, interactive browsing at all times.

Virtual Reality

Shifting sideways from Artificial Intelligence to the artificial experiences of Virtual Reality, it’s interesting that the consumer hasn’t, up until now, understood VR as a shopping experience. A gaming experience or a TV experience, yes, but not for shopping.

However, Virgin Holidays have changed that this year. They are boosting sales to key destinations with augmented reality in store. All shot in the first person, consumers can walk in to a store and ‘try before they buy’ by popping on the headsets and experiencing their holiday.

Bye-Bye Wallets

2017 will mark the beginning of the end for wallets and cash thanks to wearables and other next-gen payment technology. Retailers should get out in front of this trend before the competition does.

2017 will see a drastic decrease of traditional payments and will move towards payment via smartphone, watch, or other wearable devices. The use of digital wallets like mobile wallet will grow up both in digital and physical stores. With the new credit card standards, a lot of retailers are updating their POS systems moving closer towards a world that is able to accept mobile payments as easily as credit card payments. 2017 will be a year when a larger portion of the general public becomes comfortable paying with their mobile phones rather than their credit cards.

The Rise (and rise) of Social Shopping

Shopping has always been a social experience – it’s just that the gossiping has transferred from the workplace/ coffee shop / pub among a small group of friends to now happening online with an audience of potentially millions. Customers are talking about products and services in highly visible places all over the internet, and these conversations are playing a role in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Shoppers aren’t just stumbling into user-generated content about products and services; they’re actively seeking it out and making it an indispensable part of their purchase process.

In fact, according to the Google ZMOT report, 70% of consumers research online before purchasing in-store. That’s huge – and still growing rapidly. Too huge for retailers to just sit back and hope that their customers create positive word-of-mouth content for them. They should play an active role in its creation – and make sure it is put right in the path of consumers who are considering purchases.

The Snapchat-ization of Shopping

Gen Y and Z consumers are hooked on the instant communication and unique experiences made possible by mobile technologies, RFID, NFC, and geolocation. In parallel, analytics will shift from the Web to the street; from the computer to the individual.

Predictive Analysis

By exploiting the massive amount of data collected through various consumer touchpoints, merchants can use predictive analysis to better understand shoppers’ purchasing habits, preferences, and, predict their next purchases, based on the behavior of other customers with similar profiles.

Using predictive analytics combined with actionable widgets to target user behavior can increase conversions by 50%. For example, if a visitor enters your e-commerce site website looking for a specific product, often they might be hesitant about paying the price and still, they try to leave the browser tab to continue to shop around at which time, a popup can immediately appear saying “Buy this now and get 20% off.” Another example of an actionable widget can happen when clicking on a woman’s category for example, that then defines that shopper as a female and as a result, the shopping experience renders the content, promotions, and the color theme to be gender specific.

The Uber-ization of Shipping

The fulfilment revolution will continue with smaller stores, local drop-off points and same-day delivery. The report predicts that many consumers will receive their first same-day delivery. And the smaller store formats will serve as showrooms, fitting rooms, or drop-off points. Customers will be able to order the product they want after having seen it and touched it.

Unified Commerce

Silos continue to be eliminated, and, possibly for the first time ever, easily avoided. Instead of adding a digital storefront to the in-store infrastructure, merchants will instead integrate their stores (physical or digital) into a centralized infrastructure.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce has been steadily growing, but if Black Friday and Cyber Monday mobile sales are any indication – with U.S. shoppers alone purchasing over $2.4 billion worth of goods via a mobile phone or tablet on those two days alone – 2017 is going to be huge.

“Apple Pay and Android Pay have greatly improved the mobile check-out process, and PayPal does more than $14 billion dollars in mobile payments alone,” says Matt Smith, founder, Later. “Consumers are spending more time on mobile devices and mobile internet traffic is now greater than desktop.” Moreover, “mobile-first social networks like Instagram, and more frequent mobile-based searches on mobile devices, will make it hard for anyone to be a winner in the ecommerce space without a huge focus on mobile.”

“With brands like CVS and Samsung seeing success after implementing CVS Pay and Samsung Pay, more retailers will begin adopting this strategy [mobile wallets] as a way to engage with consumers and build loyalty with their brand,” says Don Hughes, CIO, Kobie Marketing. “Mobile wallets simplify rewards programs and offer opportunities to interact with consumers wherever they go. Retailers can even use these apps to offer time-sensitive and location-based vouchers and deals, which is a great way to surprise and delight customers and incentivize a purchase.”

Disintermediation

Consumers want to deal directly with brands, but where do retailers fit in? Merchants will attempt to cement their relationship with the customer by becoming indispensable and by offering added value: warranties, complementary services and, of course, independence from the brands.

New Tech Solutions for eCommerce

We’ll see new tech solutions for ecommerce. As ecommerce grows, so will the market for tech solutions for online retailers. In 2016, the market for marketing tech for ecommerce boasted with over 3,500 providers. 76% of online retailers in the UK consider innovation to be a business priority. This number is expected to grow in 2017, as ecommerce matures and there is a growing demand for tech that specialize in niche solutions in ecommerce.

Some of the most sought-after ecommerce solutions in 2017 will focus on improving customer experience, user-centric personalization (both on-site and off-site), real-time and predictive analytics, conversion rate optimization, and rich interactive content. Online retailers will look into solutions that can offer deeper insights into consumer behavior and track consumer engagement and conversions across channels. Consumers become quickly accustomed to innovative approaches to online shopping, so ecommerce retailers will need to continuously explore new tech that delivers convenience, comfort, and exceptional experiences to customers.

Free Shipping & Fast Delivery Will be Top Priority

When trying to predict the future of retail, there’s a lot of talk about progressive strategies like, for example, the adoption of VR. However, before your store even gets the chance to impress shoppers with advanced tech, what consumers care about first and foremost is delivery – how fast is it and is it free?

Yes, while the press and the public muse about drone deliveries, in 2017, majority of online retailers will be still trying to figure out profitable ways to deliver free shipping and super-fast shipping in order to compete with the giants like Amazon. Data of past consumer behavior confirms this. 44% of consumers abandon their shopping carts if the delivery is perceived to be too expensive. Free shipping is so important that 58% of shoppers are willing to add more items to cart to qualify for free delivery and 83% are willing to wait longer for the items to arrive to their homes. To stay competitive in 2017, online retailers will need to seek ways to absorb the shipping costs (including delivery and returns) in order to motivate shoppers to place on order from their digital stores.

But free delivery is not everything. Timing is also a part of the equation determining the likelihood of purchase. In 2016, 29% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more and order more items for the same-day delivery, following the practice introduced by Amazon Prime. The soaring popularity of services like Postmates also fuels consumers’ demand for faster shipping. Next-day or same-day delivery is considered “fast” by 92% of shoppers in the US, and the threshold falls considerably for 3-5 day shipping. This means that in 2017, online retailers will also need to look into the fastest way to get the products from their warehouses to shoppers’ doorsteps. In-store delivery and partnerships with innovative delivery services will be on the rise.

Video Will Begin to Dominate

Imagine it’s about 8:00 p.m. in Salem, Oregon. Melisa is visiting her daughter, son-in-law, and week-old grandson. After chatting and visiting much of the day, everyone sits down on a faux leather couch in front of the young couple’s 32-inch television.

Melisa, like many folks her age, might have been expecting prime time television or, perhaps, a show streamed via Netflix or Hulu. But instead, her millennial daughter and son-in-law turns on YouTube and starts to watch an episode of “Good Mythical Morning,” an Internet series featuring Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal III.

This should not be too surprising, millennials aged 18 to 34 have shown a strong preference for digital video over traditional television.

A recent comScore and YouTube study found that about 35 percent of millennials preferred to watch YouTube compared to about 18 percent that preferred traditional television programming.

What’s more, some 74 percent of those millennials said they liked to watch videos that brands, companies, or institutions had uploaded. It is not much of a stretch to say that some 74 percent of these millennials like content marketing.

In 2017, content marketers, who already recognize this trend, will increasingly produce videos. In fact, expect video to begin to become a dominant form for some large ecommerce operations.

The 10 Biggest E-Commerce Shopping Days of 2016

130117-ddp-lg.jpgCyber Monday (November 28) was the biggest e-commerce shopping day of 2016 in the United States, according to recent research from comScore.

The report was based on comScore 2016 data for non-travel (retail) e-commerce spending via both home and work desktop computers. The researchers excluded auctions and large corporate purchases from the data set.

Consumers in the United States spent $2.67 billion via desktop computers on Cyber Monday 2016. The following day (November 29) was the next biggest day of the year for e-commerce purchases, followed by Black Friday (November 25).

ecommercedays-comscore-130117.jpg

Consumers spent $63.1 billion via desktop computers on retail e-commerce sites this holiday season (November through December 2016), up 12% year over year.

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About the research: The report was based on comScore 2016 data for non-travel (retail) e-commerce spending via both home and work desktop computers. The researchers excluded auctions and large corporate purchases from the data set.