“Cyber Monday was yet another historic day for e-commerce, with online spending reaching a record $1.25 billion,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman at comScore, a digital analytics company. “While last year saw Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year for the first time ever, it will be interesting to watch the next couple of weeks to see if any future individual days in 2011 manage to leapfrog this year’s highest day-to-date.”
In its “The Anatomy of Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2011” survey of more than 3,300 consumers, The NPD Group, Inc., reported Tuesday that “Cyber Monday turned into ‘Hyper Monday’ as both online and brick & mortar got healthy increases due to more shoppers even though they spent less.”
NPD found that consumers reported spending $187.83 dollars on average compared to last year’s $276.71 dollars.
Shoppers ‘Gobbled Up Deals Just like’ Black Friday
“What this means is that the prices were lower and the natural maturation of electronics plays a huge role in this,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry analyst.“Each year the same or similar electronic items tend to get lower retail prices. Now between that and the discounts being offered, consumers spent Monday gobbling up deals just like they did in stores during the Black Friday weekend. “
According comScore’s results, this year’s Cyber Monday increase was driven by an increase in the number of shoppers (up 11%) as well as the average spending per shopper (up 9%) “Overall, 10 million people bought online on Cyber Monday, representing the first time on record that threshold has been reached in a single day,” comScore said.
Interestingly, 50% of Cyber Monday shoppers did their shopping from work computers up from last year.
“The Cyber Monday phenomenon originated from the significant spike in e-commerce activity that traditionally occurred following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with many consumers turning to their work computers to continue their holiday gift buying–and that pattern still exists today,” added Fulgoni.
NPD found that the category that posted the biggest growth in Cyber Monday sales was electronics, which grew about 10%. However, in the number one category, apparel, the percentage of consumers that reported making at least one apparel purchase on Cyber Monday declined.
“So why the lag in apparel?” asked Cohen. “It’s pretty typical, consumers don’t get serious about their gifting until later in the season…so for all of you looking for that new holiday reindeer sweater this year, fear not, it will come. It just wasn’t the focus of Cyber Monday shoppers. “
Increase in ‘Non-Gift’ or “Self Purchases”
As was the case for Black Friday, there was an increase in self purchases on Cyber Monday, too. Consumers shopping for “non-gifts and for themselves” accounted for 39% of all online purchases, the NPD said.
“Consumers remain focused on getting the great deals and using online and Cyber Monday to fill that pent-up demand and frugal fatigue,” said Cohen, “Consumers have been saving up and not shopping for months waiting for these deals and they scored.”
When asked about their reasons for shopping Cyber Monday this year, the leading reason the number online shoppers cited was to “comparison shop” (29%, up 6 percentage points over last year). Another 27% said “I was just curious to see what was out there,” and 23% said “I saw an item I wanted advertised on sale.”
“Almost as many people as told us they went online and purchased holiday gifts also said they visited a social networking site,” noted Cohen. When asked, “Have you engaged in any of the following activities in the past week?” Some 56% of online shoppers reported visiting a social networking site, a 10 percentage point increase over last year, NPD added.
“Whether consumers were online or in line they scored big this weekend,” said Cohen, “Consumers have learned that Black Friday offers great deals. And that the deals are worth waiting for, worth saving for, worth waiting in line for, and worth scouring the Web for… the deals are just too good to pass up.”
Given consumers ability to comparison shop and search websites for the best deals, it may be that more Black Friday and Cyber Monday doorbuster-style deals will continue through the holiday season especially if consumers cut back on their holiday budgets as some suggest.
“When all is said and done, it will also be vital to see whether retailers’ deals and price discounting, which consumers are now able to discover via so many different digital media channels, will have a negative impact on retailers’ margins this holiday season,” said comScore’s Fulgoni.