Cyber Monday: Another Record Breaker…More to Come?

Reston, VA and Port Washington, NY—Cyber Monday, Nov. 26, didn’t feel the pinch from a stronger Black Friday weekend, thank you very much.

In fact, once again, the annual online holiday sales promotion day broke records: spending was up 17% to $1.465 billion from a year ago, representing the heaviest online spending day in history and the second day this season after Black Friday that online sales surpassed $1 billion in sales.

According to comScore Inc., the data tracking firm, bestselling categories included digital content and subscriptions (up 28%); consumer electronics, especially smartphones (24%); computer hardware, (22%); video games and accessories, (up 18%). Jewelry and watch sales grew 17% last year to make the top five.

ComScore, which tracks U.S. online sales, excluding mobile sales, based on observed behavior of a representative U.S. consumer panel of 1 million web users, reported Wednesday that 47.1% of the online dollars spent on Cyber Monday originated from “work computers;” 47.2% originated from consumers’ homes. Buying from international locations accounted for the rest, 5.7%.

Online spending on Black Friday weekend increased 15% to $1.19 billion compared to last year. And Thanksgiving Day sales were up 32% to $633.

While those increased are impressive, Cyber Monday remains No. 1.

“Despite some news reports suggesting that Cyber Monday might be declining in importance, the day has once again set an online spending record at nearly $1.5 billion. However, it is also clear that the holiday promotional period has begun even earlier this year, with strong online sales occurring on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday,” Gian Fulgoni, comScore’s chairman, said.

NPD: More Sales, Specials to Entice Spending Ahead?

In its analysis “The Anatomy of Cyber Monday 2012 Report,” The NPD Group, Inc. reported Wednesday an increase in the number of online shoppers who converted to buyers rose, boosting Monday’s sales.

According to its survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 3,200 U.S. consumers ages 18+, 58% of Cyber Monday shoppers made a purchase compared to 47% last year.

Moreover, brick and mortar retailers got a Cyber Monday bounce, too. While slightly fewer consumers shopped in store (11% this year versus 12% last year), a greater percentage converted to purchase (83% versus last year’s 72%), spending roughly 8% more than last year on average.

NPD estimated Cyber Monday total sales at $4.62 billion, with $2.42 billion (52%) occurring in stores.

The Anatomy of Cyber Monday study found apparel to be the number one shopped category with at least 32% of consumers purchasing clothing online.

Again, like last year, self purchasing was important: 54% of shoppers bought non-gifts or for themselves on Monday.

Asked about what their reasons were for shopping on Cyber Monday, No. 1 cited was “I wanted to compare prices and deals” with 51%, up 27 percentage points over last year.

The second reason? “I saw an item I wanted advertised on sale,” (45%). At number three was “I’ve got to get the holiday shopping done,” (36%).

“This year, 68% of shoppers stated they have completed their shopping, compared to last year’s 69%, which tells us there is still more to come,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group. “Retailers have their work cut out for them. Even with the great start out of the gate, this race still has a long way to go. Consumers may have just spent themselves out until the next paycheck, so look for retailers to use more sales and specials to entice the consumer to keep shopping throughout the remainder of the holiday season.”





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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.