Cyber Monday Evolving into Cyber Week?

Washington–Despite record levels of online spending over the Black Friday weekend, savvy shoppers still have plenty of appetite for one-day only deals that retailers have lined up for Cyber Monday, as 129.2 million shoppers say they’ll head to retailers’ websites today, Cyber Monday.

According to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGinsight, 129.2 million Americans plan to shop today, Cyber Monday, up from the 122.8 million who shopped last year, and the 106.9 million who shopped on Cyber Monday in 2010. Eager to meet consumers’ demands, an estimated 85% of retailers will have a special promotion today, according to a survey released last week.

“Whether from the couch or the cubicle, online shoppers will make this Cyber Monday bigger than ever,” Vicki Cantrell, Shop.org executive director, said Sunday.” Retailers have honed and improved their websites, mobile sites and social media outreach to be better than ever and consumers know that come Cyber Monday, many retailers will have a slew of new promotions to help them make a real dent in their holiday shopping lists, without breaking the bank or even having to head to the store.”

While there may be record numbers planning to check out Cyber Monday deals, the strong showing on Black Friday may mean consumers will be more careful on what they spend online today and how much. According The NPD Group, Inc.’s Anatomy of Black Friday report more than 33% of Black Friday weekend shoppers bought doorbuster deals.

“This is a record high, and a result that will have an impact on Cyber Monday,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, Inc. said today. “While not all doorbuster deal shoppers are going to forgo shopping online because of them, they will make an impact on the results. Consumers are tapped out already, and more in-store shoppers mean less online shoppers to some degree.”

Rise in Online Black Friday Shopping

Since retailers had extended hours over Thanksgiving weekend that also mean they were offering more online sales, some starting last Wednesday. “This dilutes the power of Cyber Monday,” Cohen said, adding that Cyber Monday still will pack a wallop in online sales today, but perhaps not as much as if last weekend hadn’t been so successful.

“So, expect the numbers to look good for online shopping today, but read between the lines,” Cohen said. “The big early numbers will only mean smaller numbers to follow for the next two weeks. Consumers online or in store will need to catch their breath, replenish their wallets, and pay down balances on credit cards before rushing out again in a few weeks for more purchases.”

According to the Anatomy of Black Friday report, 40% of people who shopped over the Black Friday weekend did so online–a big number that’s third only to mass merchants and national chain stores. “Cyber Week has emerged from Cyber Monday,” Cohen added.

Indeed many retailers have been offering online deals lasting from Sunday through Dec. For instance, Macy’s, Kmart and Target are all partaking in this prolonged “Cyber Monday”–and Target’s slogan for is: “Hot Deals All Cyber Week Long!”

Rise in Shopping Via Smartphone/Mobile Devices

The number of shoppers planning to use their smartphones or other mobile device this Cyber Monday increased 14.4% to 20.4 million this year, from 17.8 million in 2011. In the three years alone, the number of Americans saying they would use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday has skyrocketed from 3.6 million (3.8%) in 2009 to 20.4 million (15.8%) this year.

The growth in shopping with smartphones and mobile devices could have a powerful impact on competition between pure play online retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers. Now shoppers can shop in store and comparison shop with online retailers at the same time on Black Friday weekend. Hence, online retailers have started making their offers even earlier to capture Black Friday shoppers.

According to IBM, online sales were up 17.4% on Thanksgiving Day and up 20.7% on Black Friday with mobile sales accounting to 16.3%, up from the 9.8% record in 2011.

While the majority of Cyber Monday shoppers will make purchases from their home computer (88.0%, or 113.7 million people), nearly 16 million will also use their computers at work to shop this year (12.4%). A Shop.org survey released last week estimated that nearly 72 million Americans would shop from work at some point during the holiday season.

While many retailers expect to see sales and traffic spike over lunch hours, Cyber Monday shoppers plan to go online throughout the day. According to the survey, 44.4% of Cyber Monday shoppers planned to hit the web early this morning, with 36.8% planning to shop in the late morning. Additionally, nearly three in 10 Cyber Monday shoppers (29.2%) will shop in the early evening.

CyberMonday.com to List Deals of the Hour

Shop.org’s CyberMonday.com, which features holiday promotions and special savings from more than 800 retailers, was created by retailers as a one-stop shop for consumers looking for the best Cyber Monday promotions.

In addition to hundreds of special offers, some of which will be exclusive promotions available only on the site, CyberMonday.com will be featuring a Deal of the Hour on its front page today, highlighting a different retail promotion every 60 minutes. Retailers participating in the Cyber Monday Deal of the Hour include Sears.com, Under Armour, Dell Home, Kohl’s, Sephora.com, QVC.com, RedEnvelope and eBags.com.

A portion of CyberMonday.com proceeds benefit Shop.org’s Ray M. Greenly Scholarship Fund, which helps students pursuing careers in retail. Ray Greenly was a Vice President at Shop.org before passing away from cancer in 2005.

The Shop.org survey, conducted Nov. 23 to 24, by BIGinsight polled 4,005 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6%.

 

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com