It can be easy to forget that at this time four years ago, the future of the global economy was in limbo. Financial markets around the world were in chaos and the specter of a global depression was being taken seriously.
Today, the internet economy is booming and retailers are expressing optimism for the holiday shopping season.
But under the surface, there is growing concern. As AdAge points out, if you take away all of the advertising activity around the Olympics and the United States election cycle, ad sales have been softer this year. And now advertisers have a new worry: the Fiscal Cliff.
Online retail in the United States is what most of us would consider a 'mature market', but that doesn't mean that its days of double-digit growth are behind it.
According to comScore, online retail spending hit $37.5bn in the second quarter of 2011, up from just under $33bn in the second quarter of 2010. That marks a 14% year-over-year jump.
In 2008, the world nearly ended as the global economy experienced its worst downturn in decades. The 'recovery' hasn't exactly been easy, but those of us in the digital economy have been lucky as technology and online industries have thrived.
Increasingly, however, economists are voicing concern that the global economy is on the precipice again. Yes, these are some of the same economists who missed the signs that the global economy was on the brink of collapse several years ago, but nonetheless, the warning signs are hard to miss.
Remember back when the credit crunch was new? Every other blog post, including a fair few of mine, urged firms not to lose faith in online marketing, not to hack at their search engine marketing (SEM) budgets or lay off members of their online PR team.
I still think it’s important to hold marketing nerve. If you are to
grow your business then a successful marketing strategy is essential
and budget cuts are not going to help.
However, as the country
shudders its way out of a historic recession, achieving an estimated
0.1% of growth in the last three months of 2009, it’s time to face
facts. Your money need to work harder.
The holidays are right around the corner and that means that online retailers are gearing up for what is usually the busiest shopping season of the year.
This won't be your typical holiday season, however. Although one might argue that the global economy is in a better place than it was at this time in 2008, times are still tough for a lot of people and that means that retailers will need to go into Holiday 2009 prepared for another challenging year.
Google reported its third quarter earnings after the close of the US stock exchange today and, as it has done more than a few times in the past, the Mountain View company delivered more than analysts were expecting.
Net revenue in the quarter was $4.38bn with earnings per share of $5.89. Analysts had expected $4.24bn in net revenue and $5.42 in earnings per share. All told, total revenue was up 7% year-over-year. So the good news: Google is managing to grow even in a very tough economic environment. The bad news: growth is, by past standards, a bit modest.
The recession is an extra obstacle to shopping online. To stop it from being insurmountable, you need to make sure you remove all the other barriers you can.
Last summer I asked if the downturn was leading to greater use of e-commerce? The answer then was 'yes'. The answer is still “yes”, only maybe more so now...
Do you believe the economy is now ready to recover or that we're in for a double-dip recession? Have you been worried about your business's survival? Are you simply looking forward to consumers becoming happier to spend their cash again?
Whatever your opinions and concerns, it's time to give some very real thought to your online marketing strategy and what you will do once the economy does finally pick up.
Online and offline, retail has never seen such tough times before. Veteran entrepreneurs are saying retailing itself has fundamentally changed, and forever. Yet some exceptional small-to-mid sized retailers are surviving. Some are thriving.
I decided to find out how this could be in such a down market by interviewing one of the brightest stars in U.S. retail. Surprisingly, what separates the winners from losers isn't what you'd expect.
The impact of the Great Recession on global workforces has been huge. Around the world, countless employers have been forced to lay off workers, make painful cuts and change the structures of their businesses.
The tech industry has not been immune. Stalwarts such as Microsoft, Google and Adobe are among those that have laid off employees and contractors.