For this Cyber Monday, mobile is king (The 3:59, Ep. 322)We discuss the start of the holiday shopping season plus the Kindle's 10th anniversary.
[MUSIC] Welcome to the 3:59, I'm Roger Cheng. I'm Ben Fox Rubin. So, Cyber Monday is here upon us. We've already talked about the best deals in an earlier live show. But, Ben and I wanna discuss the way we're shopping, the differences in how we're shopping on Cyber Monday. Ben, give some outline, how is Black Friday and Cyber Monday stacking up against the previous years? Online continues to do really, really well. We're seeing double-digit growth at far as revenue increases. The thing that I find most interesting is, and we've been talking a lot about, or I've been writing a lot about this, is mobile. So mobile has been this thing that everybody's been excited about and waiting to happen. That there's a lot of mobile traffic. Right. Everybody's looking around and grazing on their smartphones. Well, it actually looks like there is some positive numbers to show that people are actually buying stuff on their phones as well. Yeah, I mean, I just bought a TV last night. On your phone? On my phone. Didn't you wanna do that on desktop? I was in the car [LAUGHTER] I need the TV now I was driving and I gave him the television I was not driving, but I did end up buying a TV in a car I've been writing this as the retailers perspective from the payments perspective but that A lot of payment providers like PayPal and Visa, a lot of retailers and Walmart and Ebay, have been trying to make it a lot easier for you to just get through the pipeline from start to finish. And it seems to actually be working, like how was it buying your television? It was pretty painless. I had to enter in my full credit card. Did you use Amazon? No, I bought something from Target. I actually canceled an order that I had made on my phone on Amazon. Mm-hm. That I had previously purchased on my phone. I cancelled that order and then I immediately ordered one on Target because the same product was available to me earlier. And- At the same price. And you are like a new target customer, so you had to like put in all your new information- Yeah, it was actually really annoying to do it. Like, I tried to enter information and it didn't remember my account or I didn't remember my password, so I just went in as a new customer and I was fine. Yeah, and that's a lot of reason why a lot of people didn't want to shop on their phones for a long time, but I guess you really wanted that TV. I was on my way. It was like a pick up. So it was like I was on my way to the store. I was gonna order it. I knew there was only like one left so I wanted one to make sure I had it, so. So as a comparison also, online shopping has been doing really well. Mobil has been increasing, so that's been interesting. In store So far at least the foot traffic has been flat. So we've been seeing a lot of stores closing, a lot of stores going into bankruptcy. I don't know, are people still shopping in stores? That's the thing, are people gonna see this stuff, or are they pretty content with looking on their screens? That's what I'm curious about. So as the e-commerce reporter I actually went to Best Buy and bought all the stuff that I wanted to buy on Black Friday. So I guess I'm a terrible e-commerce reporter. Was it busy? Was it a good experience, though? It was busy. Yeah, it was definitely busy, and they had a ton of inventory all over the place, that made the Best Buy rather maze like. But, you know, when I go into a store these days, I just know exactly what I wanna buy. I already did all my research ahead of time. So you go bing, bang, boom and buy what you need. That's how you do it, man. When you're preparing for this stuff. You gotta make a list ahead of time. You gotta know what you want. Next up, we wanna talk about the Kindle, which marked its 10th anniversary last Sunday. Before then you talked to a couple of Amazon executives about sort of the influence that the Kindle has had, just how we read. What did you sort of get from these guys? I would probably say, so we're close to out of time so I wanted to mention this one really funny tidbit that I heard from one of the executives. So they did right before the original Kindle launch more than ten years ago, a bunch of the Kindle workers went to Jeff Besos' parent's house for a two day offsite with Jeff. Because I guess Jeff now is the world's richest person, but back then he was merely a billionaire. Yeah. And wanted to save some money Right or dig Had an offsite at mom and dad's place while mom and dad were in italy. So that was [LAUGH] How the Kindle, that's how they prepared it for the market All right. We couldn't get to the actual story but please check in on CNet. I'm Roger Cheng. I'm Ben Fox Rubin. Thanks for listening. [BLANK_AUDIO]