Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=226173
Story Retrieval Date: 9/1/2014 4:07:30 PM CST

Top Stories
Features
BFREACT

Homa Bash/MEDILL

According to comScore, $23.9 billion has been spent online this holiday season, up 8 percent during the same period a year ago.


Cyber Monday sales break online shopping record with help from growing mobile trend

by Brian Ayala
Dec 03, 2013


CYMON

Brian Ayala/MEDILL

Cyber Monday sales rose 18 percent to $1.74 billion.

Online sales surged 21 percent to a record on Cyber Monday as shoppers favored the convenience of online promotions over brick-and-mortar door-busters, according to IBM Smarter Commerce.

As expected, mobile online purchases were a big driver, jumping 55 percent over last year’s Cyber Monday to total more than 17 percent of overall online sales.

Cyber Monday, coined in 2005 to describe the high volume of online sales on the first day back to work after the Thanksgiving weekend, moved beyond 9-to-5 work hours this year. Consumers shopped on their mobile devices into the wee hours as sales continued until midnight.

“People are switching their behaviors and going from their desktop [at work] to their notebook, tablet or phone, and doing their shopping,” said Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, in a conference call.

ComScore said so far this holiday season, $23.9 billion has been spent online, up 8 percent during the same period last year. Cyber Monday sales rose 18 percent to $1.74 billion, the heaviest in history, not including mobile sales.

“Any notion that Cyber Monday is declining in importance appears to be completely unfounded,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. But he added that early online promotions pulled some dollars forward into the weekend that in years past would have occurred on Monday.

Smartphone consumers reeled in 5.5 percent of total online sales at an average of $106.49 per order, while tablet users doubled that result at 11.7 percent and $126.30 per order, according to IBM.

Mobile traffic also accounted for 32 percent of all online traffic, increasing by 45 percent over 2012.

ChannelAdvisor said that eBay and Amazon were the two heavyweights going toe-to-toe for online sales on the four key days of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend plus Cyber Monday.

Amazon led the way with 35 percent sales growth year-over-year, peaking at a little over 46 percent on Cyber Monday. eBay had 30 percent year-over-year growth for the five days, with sales strongest on Black Friday, up 39 percent.

“Amazon just has more tools in their toolbox and ability to run more promotions than eBay does at this point,” Wingo said.

“Amazon nailed the Thanksgiving thing pretty well, knowing that a lot of people would be there, while eBay was more oriented towards Black Friday.”

IBM, which tracked online sales by geographic location, said Chicago was among the top five major cities in total online retail sales for this holiday shopping weekend. It ranked third on Thanksgiving, fifth on Black Friday and fourth on Cyber Monday.