Online Out-Shops In-Store and Cyber Monday Sales Top $3 Billion

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For most of 2015, we’ve been writing about consumers’ shifting shopping behavior from offline to online. Never has this trend been more telling than with the recent Thanksgiving / Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza.

Black Friday

According to the National Retail Federations’ Thanksgiving Weekend Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. More than 103 million Americans shopped online over the Thanksgiving-Black Friday weekend, compared to the nearly 102 million who went to a brick-and-mortar store to shop.

RetailNext estimated that in-store sales across the industry fell 1.5 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It can be reasoned that people are tired of giving up precious time with friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday waiting in line for limited inventory deals. Plus, now it’s so much easier to shop online.

Although comparable data doesn’t exist from 2014, it’s logical to perceive that this marks the first time e-commerce shoppers outnumbered brick-and-mortar customers during the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

According to data released by Adobe:

  • Shoppers spent $4.45 billion online on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day.
  • Specifically, Black Friday brought in $2.72 billion in e-commerce sales, up 14 percent from 2014.
  • Thanksgiving Day saw a higher jump in online spending, with $1.73 billion in sales, up 25 percent from the previous year.

Of all the revenue generated on Thanksgiving, 14 percent was attributed to email inbox promotions. What’s more is that:

  • One-third of online shoppers used their mobile phones to make purchases, with smartphones representing a record 22 percent share of online sales, up 70 percent from 2014.
  • App Annie Store Stats report that the US saw three consistent app winners on both iPhone and Google Play: Amazon, Wish—a mobile-first shopping app from ContextLogic, and Walmart, all held within the top 50 overall downloads. Cartwheel by Target and Kohl’s also ranked well on Black Friday.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, 57 percent of traffic came from mobile devices, with mobile sales generated a record $639 million.
  • Black Friday generated $583 million in sales, with smartphones and tablets accounting for 34 percent of online sales.

While mobile shopping increased, shopping on tablets continued to decline. Tablets drove 15 percent of sales on Black Friday, a 2 percent decrease from 2014.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday definitely added to the shopping momentum. Adobe data revealed that Cyber Monday sales topped $3 billion, up 16 percent from last year. Of that, mobile spending on Cyber Monday

  • $575 million came from iOS users.
  • $219 million came from Android devices.

In addition, IBM Watson Trend, which tracks millions of transactions on retail websites, reported that:

  • Online sales increased 17.8 percent Monday compared to the same day in 2014.
  • Of that, mobile traffic accounted for nearly half of all online traffic and 27.6 percent of all online sales Monday, which is up more than 25 percent from last year.
  • For bigger-ticket purchases, consumers still turned to their desktop, with an average order value of $128 vs. about $102 on smartphones.

Mobile apps also played a bigger role this year, such as Target’s partnership with the app Curbside, which allows customers to place an order and pick it up at a Target store without leaving their car. Perhaps such high demand contributed to Target’s site crashing for an hour on Cyber Monday!

Catchpoint Systems, which was tracking site availability on Cyber Monday, noted that other sites experienced problems throughout the day as well, and in some cases the weekend, too, including HP, Newegg, Saks, Jet.com, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus, Foot Locker, PayPal and Shutterfly, to name a few.

AP Client Reporting

Across the board, we’ve seen online retailers promote compelling offers this year that are popular with holiday shoppers. On Cyber Monday, Target offered 15 percent off purchases with no restrictions and Shutterfly gave shoppers 50 percent off.

In addition, our clients are reporting their affiliate channel has been one of their most successful online marketing channels this holiday season with one major retailer reporting a year-over-year increase in gross sales as high as 200%.

What can be gleaned from this diaspora of data?

More customers are ditching the mall for their comfy couch and laptop. Also, as retailers begin offering deals earlier on in the month of November, Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday are starting to merge into one four-day online shopping spectacular, with some of the most attractive deals being saved for Cyber Monday.

While we won’t know the full picture of how merry this holiday shopping season will be until the National Retail Federation sends out a final report and retailers start reporting their fourth-quarter earnings, things are looking bright.

Analytics company comScore projects that consumers will spend $70.1 billion buying gifts online during the holiday season, a 14 percent jump from the previous year. And as we expected, mobile will account for most of the e-commerce holiday growth.

 

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