Cyber Monday Sales Jump 33% to Possible Record?

Armonk, NY–While the final tally of Cyber Monday sales are still to come, early indications appear that the online holiday shopping extravaganza will  break all-time records.

Although IBM’s Coremetrics report released today didn’t give total sales estimates for Nov. 28 online sales, the company reported sales increased on Monday by 33% over Cyber Monday last year. In addition, the average order amount increased 2.6% this year from $193.24 to $198.26.

“Cyber Monday was once again the big winner for the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, with a record number of consumers focused on finding the best online deals,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Smarter Commerce. “Retailers that adopted a smarter approach to commerce, one that allowed them to swiftly adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile device, were able to fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend.”

Last year, comScore reported that Cyber Monday was the heaviest online spending day ever with sales exceeding $1 billion.

“The iPad Factor”

Comparison of Cyber Mondays

Moreover, the number of shoppers using mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads and tablet computers increased 10.8% from 3.9% in 2010. The report said about 6.6% of these shoppers actually used the handheld devices to make a purchase. Apple’s iPhone ranked No. 1 at 4.1% for most used mobile device, followed by the iPad at 3.3%. Android was third at 3.2%.

Of particular note, however, was what IBM called the “iPad factor”: Apple’s tablet computer drove more retail purchases than any other device with “conversion rates reaching 5.2% compared to 4.6%.”

Peak shopping time for Cyber Monday was 2:05 p.m. Eastern Time/11:05 a.m. Pacific Time. “Consumer shopping also maintained strong momentum after commuting hours on both the east and west coast,” the report added.

And affirming what many retail analysts predicted, many consumers preferred to shop online over the Black Friday weekend rather than deal with in store crowds. “Online sales were up 29.3% over Black Friday,”  IBM reported.

IBM Benchmark data shows that Cyber Monday 2011 online sales were up 29.3% over Black Friday.

A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites during the four-day holiday weekend starting on Thanksgiving Day, up from 212 million last year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported. Black Friday sales rose 7% to $11.4 billion, the largest amount ever spent, according to ShopperTrak.

But online sales were strong the entire weekend, too. Sherif Mityas, partner in the retail practice of A.T. Kearney, said 38% of all purchases were made online this year, up from  31% to 32% last year as heavy promotional activity continued to drive sales online.

Online Chatter Bolsters Sales?

Those shoppers referred to sales from social media networks accounted for 0.56% of all online Cyber Monday sales versus 0.53% on Black Friday. Facebook was the dominate source, accounting for 86% of all social media traffic.

Although a small fraction of sales were made through social media, online chatter and discussions leading up to Cyber Monday soared, jumping 115% more than in 2010.

“Top areas of discussion focused on consumers sharing tips about using price comparison websites while avoiding cyber scams, Cyber Monday deals for international consumers and conversations about Black Friday in-store shopping experiences,” IBM said.

About IBM Smarter Commerce Report:

These early holiday season findings are based on data from IBM Benchmark, the only analytics-based, peer-level benchmarking solution that measures online marketing results, including real-time sales data from the web sites of more than 500 leading U.S. retailers. All of the data is aggregated and anonymous. Analysis of public social media content using IBM Cognos Consumer Insight also provided additional insight into underlying holiday shopping trends, hot topics of discussion, and consumer sentiment. The growth of mobile, social and online commerce are key trends within Smarter Commerce.www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/smarter_commerce/overview/

 

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