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
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
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.