Cyber Monday gains outpace Black Friday numbers

While Black Friday produced modest sales gains compared to last year, Cyber Monday sales rose 31.7 percent compared to 2008, and people purchased 30 percent more items with each online order than they did on Cyber Monday last year.
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Jimmy Buffet said it best when he sang, “Come Monday, it’ll be alright.”

While Black Friday produced modest sales gains compared to last year, Cyber Monday sales rose 31.7 percent compared to 2008, and people purchased 30 percent more items with each online order than they did on Cyber Monday last year, according to Coremetrics. Plus, traffic overall for e-tailers jumped 8 percent and sites were riddled with sales and promotions.

“We are seeing good online buying momentum because people are looking for the very best deals, and are going online for the most convenient way to shop,” John Squire, chief strategy officer of Coremetrics, said in a statement on Dec. 1, the day after Cyber Monday. (Click here to read the Coremetrics release. )

Coremetrics also reported:

>> Cyber Monday continued the momentum set by Black Friday. Sales were up 24.1 percent compared to Black Friday 2009.

>> Consumers spent more per online order compared to Black Friday 2009 -- $180.03 versus $170.19 for an increase of 5.8 percent.

>> The average dollar amount consumers spent per online order rose 38.2 percent from Cyber Monday 2008 ($180.03 versus $130.24), led by apparel retailers.

>> Consumer shopping hit its peak from 9-10 a.m. PST, but maintained stronger momentum throughout the day than on Cyber Monday 2008.

According to Coremetrics, clothing and jewelry e-tailers did some of the greatest business on Cyber Monday, while department stores saw mixed results. Though traffic at department store websites increased 33 percent, the average order volume fell 10 percent versus last year.

Amazon.com saw a big boost in sales on Cyber Monday, according to a Washington Post story on Dec. 2. According to the report, Mercent -- a company that does marketing for many large online retailers -- estimated that Amazon.com’s Cyber Monday sales rose 47 percent.

Cyber Monday traffic increases

Sales not only rose on Cyber Monday this year, but also traffic for online sellers increased, rising 8 percent, according to The Washington Post.

A Shop.org survey conducted by BIGresearch found that 96.5 million Americans were planning to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from 85 million in 2008. The National Retail Federation had a similar forecast, estimating that nearly 100 million people would shop online Cyber Monday. Neither group has reported post-Cyber Monday results.

Many shoppers were lured by special bargains this year, as Shop.org reported that about 700 retail websites offered special promotions on Cyber Monday. Just over 87 percent of online retailers offered a special promotion, up from 83.7 percent last year and 72.2 percent in 2007.

“With more people shopping on Cyber Monday this year and an increasing number of retailers offering promotions, this was the largest -- and most important -- Cyber Monday yet,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, in a press release. (Click here to read the entire release.)

“Since retailers began highlighting Cyber Monday promotions five years ago, Americans’ spending patterns have changed. More families have high-speed Internet access at home and don’t need to rely on their work computers to make holiday purchases, which makes the early morning and evening hours crucial for retail sales.”

Shopping hours shift

The term Cyber Monday originally rose from people using work hours to shop online the Monday following Thanksgiving. But now, more people are logging on in the morning and evening hours to purchase holiday gifts, according to Shop.org.

Shop.org operates CyberMonday.com, a site that has holiday promotions for more than 700 retailers. CyberMonday.com had 15.8 million visits on Monday, and the greatest traffic was from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. EST, when the site had 1.2 million hits. From 5 p.m. to midnight EST, traffic at the site rose 19 percent compared to 2008.

Outlook for holiday cyber sales

The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 1 that 5 percent to 7 percent of U.S. shopping typically occurs online. But this year, the Internet might capture 10 percent of all holiday shopping. Citing statistics from Forrester Research, WSJ reported, “The shift to online shopping, fueled by deal seekers in the recession, may be coming at the expense of sales at traditional stores later in the holiday season.”

“The person that would have shopped in the mall on a Saturday later in December is going online on Cyber Monday,” Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told the Wall Street Journal, “because they got an email, finding some great deals and deciding to purchase.”

--Marcus Woolf

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