Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are no longer contained to single days. Rather, retailers are now offering online discounts as early as the third week of November and are continuing them throughout the end of the holiday season . The sales figures resulting from this growing online trend are staggering. Last year, online consumers spent more than $24 billion dollars during Thanksgiving weekend alone, a 22% increase over the year prior . And consider the fact that Hurricane Sandy negatively affected shopping patterns in 2012 . Had it not been for the natural disaster, this 13% increase may have been higher, implying retailers this year will likely see even larger e-commerce growth rates. Among the many companies benefiting from this trend, two are seeing especially high increases in revenue and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Just look at these figures from Thanksgiving weekend Internet sales:
|Total Sales Revenue (billions)||$19.9||$24.2||22%|
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) is one organization effectively capitalizing on the growing amount of holiday cyber shopping. Last year, on Black Friday alone, Amazon garnered an impressive 7.7 million unique viewers , making it the most-visited online retailer for the day. Such substantial traffic helped the company bring in fourth-quarter sales revenue of $21 billion, a 22% increase over the prior year's figure.
The increase in traffic came, in part, as the result of an effective holiday marketing strategy. Whereas other companies leaked all of their Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals ahead of time, Amazon continually released more and more deals as the Thanksgiving weekend progressed. This, among other factors, likely contributed to 2012 Black Friday brick-and-mortar sales declining by 1.3% from 2011's numbers.
If Amazon can effectively implement this strategy again and capture more e-commerce web traffic, it can expect to generate even higher revenue growth rates during this year's fourth quarter.
Search engine giant Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) is also benefiting from online holiday shopping. Because of the growing e-commerce trend, more and more consumers are utilizing Google to find holiday deals. Last year, search volume for the term "Black Friday" was up 10% over the year before. A total of 4 million people searched the term in the month of November and 2.2 million more searched, "Black Friday Deals". To capture some of this traffic, companies dished out huge sums of money for paid search.
This helped Google bring in over $8.6 billion in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012, an 18% increase over 2011's number . Such an increase is especially exciting for investors because Google's advertisements are sold through a virtual auction. As traffic to the site increases, the value of ad space will go up causing companies to bid increasingly more each year for front page visibility. As a consequence, Google can expect its advertising revenue to grow steadily in the years to come.
Each year, more and more people are foregoing brick-and-mortar stores in favor of shopping with online "e-tailers." Consequently, both Amazon and Google are seeing explosive growth. As e-commerce becomes increasingly popular, Amazon and Google's revenue will continue to expand, making both of these companies intriguing investments.
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