Nov. 26 - E-tailers are doing what they can to fight back against traditional brick and mortar stores which are stepping up the online competition this holiday season. Sasha Salama reports.
Online sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever on Black Friday. According to comScore, traditional brick and mortar stores are nipping at the heels of the online retailers. Amazon.com was the most-visited retail website on Black Friday. But Wal-Mart's website was second, followed by Best Buy's and Target's. Experts say a big source of online shopping growth for all retailers this holiday season comes from the growing use of smart phones and tablets. Patti Freeman Evans of Forrester Research: . SOUNDBITE: PATTI FREEMAN EVANS, VP AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR, FORRESTER RESEARCH (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Retailers, particularly, need to be really agile, really quick to adjust to that customer who's interacting with them on their phone, in a kiosk, online, through their laptop, in the store. So this is the new world we're in and if you don't adjust, you'll get left behind." REPORTER STANDUP: SASHA SALAMA, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In this new world, analysts say a growing number of consumers are checking prices first in-store then on their mobile gadget. If the online price is lower, the store will sometimes match it just so that customer doesn't walk out the door." Meanwhile, some brick and mortar stores are stepping up their use of the web to better compete. Wal-Mart, for one, developed its own technology this year to monitor competitors' prices online. Even though e-commerce accounts for less than 10 percent of all consumer spending in the U.S., it is growing much faster than brick and mortar retail. And for e-tailers like Blue Nile, which sells diamonds and jewelry online, Cyber Monday is still key. Harvey Kanter is CEO of Blue Nile. SOUNDBITE: BLUE NILE CEO HARVEY KANTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "On this particular day, we try to do a couple things. One, we try to continue to make sure the consumer becomes more and more comfortable with the value model that we bring to market. We are so efficient, that we continue to offer 20-40% below traditional jewelry stores." At the end of the day, those lower prices could be crucial to what Forrester forecasts will be 15 percent online sales growth this holiday season.