Who Will Win Cyber Monday? Shipping Could Tip the Scales

  • The holiday shopping winners are likely to be engaged in shipping wars as more consumers turn to e-commerce.
  • This could be the largest holiday shopping season ever, providing successful competitors with big gains.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday will offer a glimpse into retailers’ Q4 performance

The holiday shopping season ramps up this weekend with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The season’s official kick-off falls later in the month than it did last year, effectively eliminating a full week’s worth of sales from the most crucial time of the year. 

While the timing isn’t ideal, it looks unlikely to stop people from spending. eMarketer says consumers could spend into the trillions for the first time ever this year. The National Retail Federation says the average shopper will spend $1,048 during the shopping season.

Where they spend it is another question entirely. Of course, discounts and promotions will play a role, but this year shipping has become a major focus for U.S. retailers. The upcoming Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping data will reveal who won the shipping battle, and whether it was worth participating in.

Winner: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

AMZN stock. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Black Friday and Cyber Monday will give AMZN a chance to prove to investors that its $1.5 billion investment in one-day shipping was worth it. Over the summer, the firm’s Prime Day sale exposed some growing pains for Amazon’s logistics arm as the firm was unable to meet one and two-day shipping expectations.

As SunTrust’s Youssef Squali put it,

Prime Day was the first proving ground for one day. The fourth quarter will be even bigger.

Not only is Amazon betting that one-day shipping will entice more Prime signups, but the firm believes faster shipping will also encourage members to shop more. In Q3, AMZN’s online sales rose 22%, helped by increased shipping speeds. Q4’s sales data will be even more telling. Investors can expect that a marked increase over the course of Black…

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