Over the course of the next decade we’ll see a lot of new innovations in the way we order, receive, and consume products and their packaging, just as that landscape has certainly morphed over the last decade. 

It was a great philosopher of the last century, 1995 to be specific, that said “life has a funny way of sneaking up on you”. Of course, those are lyrics from Alanis Morissette and I didn’t think it would be too “ironic” or off-brand for me to include a pop culture reference in my first message to you in quite some time. I’d like to think through the course of these messages that you’ve developed a profile of me and my interests, pop culture is certainly one of them- closely followed by attempted humor, often of a self-deprecating nature.
It's great to get in touch with you again through Simon Says.  Even if this message is just useful as proof of life that I haven’t been crushed by the mountain of corrugated boxes in my garage or murdered by my wife for assembling said mountain.  After a very busy November and December I’m glad to get back into the swing of sharing updates and stories about inks, coatings, packaging, and things I think are just plain cool.  I hope you all (or y’all, since I am of course a Southerner) had a wonderful holiday season and a terrific start to the New Year.
2020 has such a futuristic ring to it, and I’m sure over the course of the next decade we’ll see a lot of new innovations in the way we order, receive, and consume products and their packaging, just as that landscape has certainly morphed over the last decade- more to come on that in a future message.  2019 ended with an impressive holiday season, a good end to the year for brick and mortar and e-commerce alike, although in different ways. 
According to a recent Yahoo! article, total US holiday sales rose by 4.2% to $730.2B, shaking off the later-than-usual Thanksgiving holiday and much healthier than the 2.1% growth in holiday sales seen last year. Customers are also spending more, with per-capita spending up 6%.  Online sales, which are included in the above total number, continue to be an extra bright highlight for the industry up 14.6% to $167.8B marking the fourth consecutive year of double-digit gains. Some of the numbers I find particularly interesting around e-commerce are:

  • $81.5B was spent online between Nov. 1 and Dec. 2
  • Black Friday (Nov. 29) online sales were $5.4B, up 22.3%, showing that a traditional brick and mortar shopping day is swiftly evolving into an e-commerce event
  • Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) online sales were $9.4B, up 19.7% vs. 2018. There was concern earlier on the day that online shopping would fall short of estimates, however the late night shoppers who spent $2.9B between 10PM and 2AM saved the day.
  • Retailers with more than $1B in annual revenue saw online sales jump 540% on Cyber Monday compared to an average day.

A strong retail economy is great for the printing and packaging space. Consumer products in stores need to catch a consumer’s eye to stimulate trial and repeat purchase, e-commerce shipments need to arrive in-tact and on-brand in order to reduce risk of returns or claims. Inks and coatings, particularly those based on BASF’s JONCRYL® products play a pivotal role in achieving these goals. With a great end to 2019 and a strong retail outlook, let’s hope it’s going to be a (very) Happy New Year.

Have a great weekend,

— Simon

Cyber Monday online sales hit record $9.4 billion, boosted by late-night spending spree, Adobe says

Cyber Monday shoppers spent a record $9.4 billion online, up 19.7% from a year ago, according to data released by Adobe Analytics.

Adobe, which monitors the online transactions of 80 of the top 100 web retailers in the United States, was initially predicting that Cyber Monday online sales would hit $9.4 billion but preliminary results suggested that sales fell short of estimates.

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