Be More Like Amazon : A Holiday Retail Lesson for Small Business

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Here are three things we just learned about Christmas commerce in 2013:

1. Lots of shoppers skipped the mall, even as retailers kept slashing prices. Store traffic in the week leading up to Dec. 22 sank 22 percent, with sales growing at the smallest rate since 2009, ShopperTrak reports.
2. Consumers instead spent their dollars online. Amazon (AMZN) on Thursday announced that 1 million people signed up last week alone for its Prime membership program, paying $79 per year for two-day shipping on most purchases.
3. Many packages of items ordered through the Prime program didn’t make it to their destinations on time. As of Thursday, UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) were still scrambling to deliver gifts that were expected by Dec. 24. Amazon is offering affected customers $20 gift cards and refunds for the late deliveries.

article continues at businessweek.com