21 April 2024

Cyber Monday Grows as Busiest Day of Season

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Cyber Monday proved just as big a draw as ever after a weekend that saw fewer people shopping in stores. Sales grew 8.5% for the 24-hour period, according to IBM Digital Analytics, solidifying Monday as the largest online shopping day of the year. Shoppers spent an average of $124.21 per order, down 3.5% from last year, though the number of transactions was up and people bought more items on average per order.

Monetate, a company whose software helps major retailers including Macy's and Best Buy personalize the online shopping experience, also tracked more shopping sessions this year with about 49.3 million sessions, up 11.8% from 2013. Revenue per session increased 7% and the number of people who completed a purchase increased 8.3%.

The National Retail Federation expected a different outcome, projecting fewer shoppers would head online Monday at about 127 million vs. 131 million in 2013.Growth did slow compared to previous years: in 2013 online sales were up 20.6% vs. 2012, according to IBM data.

That may be because shoppers have more chances to get deals later this week as Cyber Monday prices continue through Saturday with some brands. With promotions spread out across November and December this year and many retailers having offered pre-Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to spur people to shop early, those days themselves have become less important as shopping drivers.

Meanwhile, more people than ever are opting to online shop and use their phones to browse for deals. Online sales over Thanksgiving weekend were up 17% vs. last year and mobile accounted for more than half of all online traffic, according to IBM. On Monday more people shopped on desktops, though mobile still accounted for 41.2% of all online traffic, a 30.1% increase over last year, IBM says.

Retailers are hopeful that online deals this week will be compelling enough to get shoppers to continue to spend. Walmart doubled the number of deals available for Cyber Monday this year and will continue to have 500 new promotions a day through Friday. Walmart reported Monday was it's biggest day of online orders ever as customers shopped for deals on the 16GB iPad mini, HDTVs, and video games, all major traffic drivers, the retailer said.

Target is billing its Cyber Week as its biggest yet, with more than 100,000 items on sale all week. Kohl's is going a day further with deals online through Saturday. Amazon is offering new deals up to every 10 minutes all week.

Those deals may entice the roughly half of consumers who still have shopping to do, says Consumer Electronics Association Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac. And he expects people to continue to buy leading up to Christmas. That appetite may be fed by increasing parity between online and in-store deals and the convenience of options like same-day shipping and buy online, pick up in store, all of which are making it easier for consumers to wait out the season for the best prices.

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