Americans took full advantage of big early discounts and promotional deals during the Thanksgiving weekend with online shopping at the fore. More than 154 million people shopped over the Thanksgiving weekend versus the 151 million a year ago, as per the National Retail Federation. In fact, about 109 million shopped online compared to 99 million who went to stores. This reflects a 4.2% increase in online shopping but a 3.7% drop in-store shopping.
According to data released by Adobe Digital Insights, shoppers spent $50.27 billion online on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day, up 18% from last year. Black Friday sales soared 21.6% year over year to hit $3.34 billion for the first time while Thanksgiving Day saw a jump of 13.6% to $1.15 billion in online spending. Most of the online sales came from mobiles and smartphones (read: Big Day for Retailers: 5 ETFs to Shop for Black Friday).
After a solid four-day holiday weekend online shopping frenzy, Americans are gearing up for the biggest e-commerce sales day of the year –– Cyber Monday. Adobe Digital Insights expects Cyber Monday online sales to hit $3.36 billion, surpassing Black Friday sales and increasing 9.4% from last year.
The web analytics firm ComScore projects this Cyber Monday to be the heaviest online spending day in history for the seventh straight year, with over $1 billion in mobile sales for the first time. According to the Nielsen's 2016 holiday trend report, mobile online shopping will see a big jump with half of the American population planning to use their phones to shop on Cyber Monday, up from 39% in 2015.
Thanks to high-speed internet access at home and on mobiles, demand for online shopping is skyrocketing and has transformed Cyber Monday into Cyber Week. As a result, many retailers kicked in Cyber Monday deals on Sunday and are stretching those through Cyber Week.
Retailers on a Roll
Online behemoth Amazon.com (AMZN - Free Report) remained the hottest retailer among all. This year, the company has combined Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas sales into one massive savings event spanning 35 days. It is rolling out new deals as often as every five minutes until December 22 on everything from electronics to clothing to toys. Additionally, Cyber Monday features some unique deals on Amazon devices, HDTVs, home automation, toys and other hot items. Amazon has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with a Growth Style Score of ‘A’.
Brick-and-mortar chains have also become aggressive in chasing online customers. Wal-Mart (WMT) kicked off “Cyber Week" deals three days earlier on Black Friday for the first time ever at 12:01 a.m. EST. The company has nearly tripled its online collection to 23 million from 8 million last year. Meanwhile, Target (TGT - Free Report) is offering 15% off on both online and in-store purchasing for two days – November 27 and November 28 – on a range of products including gaming consoles, iRobot vacuums, KitchenAid appliances and all Apple products including iPhone and Apple Watch (read: A Spread of Top-Ranked ETFs for Thanksgiving and After).
While Wal-Mart currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), its Value, Growth and Momentum Style Score of ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘B’, respectively, is encouraging. On the other hand, Target has a solid Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with a Value and Momentum Style Score of ‘A’ each.
Department store Macy’s (M - Free Report) kicked in “great deals" starting November 27 through December 1 with discounts on men's and women's essentials, electronics and toys, mattresses and home décor and other gifts. The store is also offering free shipping on orders over $25 and up to 20% additional discounts to Macy’s cardholders. Macy’s has a Zacks Rank #3 with a Value Style Score of ‘A’.
Best Buy (BBY - Free Report) kicked off its Cyber Monday sales on November 27 with heavy discounts on a slew of products including the 2-inch MacBook, MacBook Pro, 4K Ultra HD TVs, and Chromebooks. Best Buy has a top Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Value Style Score of ‘A’.
Apart from these, several other retailers like J.C. Penney (JCP - Free Report) , eBay (EBAY - Free Report) ,
Kohl’s (KSS - Free Report) and Staples are also drawing investors’ attention with sizzling deals on most products. Each of these stocks has a Zacks Rank #3 (see: all the Consumer Discretionary ETFs here).
While investing in any of these stocks could reward investors throughout Cyber Week, a diverse approach in a basket form can also be a great choice. For this, investors can splurge on the e-commerce corner of the broad retail/technology industry or the broad consumer space.
Some of the attractive ETF deals are SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT - Free Report) , VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH - Free Report) , First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index FDN, PowerShares Nasdaq Internet Portfolio (PNQI - Free Report) , Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary Portfolio PSCD,Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Consumer Discretionary ETF RCD and Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLY - Free Report) .
RTH and XRT with a Zacks Rank #1 target the retail sector while FDN and PNQI, having a Zacks Rank #3, provide exposure to the Internet space. IBUY debuted in the space seven months ago and offers global exposure to companies that derive 70% or more revenue from online and virtual retail. The other funds offer a broad exposure to the consumer discretionary space. PSCD and RCD have a Zacks Rank #2 while XLY carries a Zacks Rank #1 (read: 4 ETFs to Gain from Healthy Consumer Spending).
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