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How Etailers Fared on Cyber Monday 2013

The Monday following Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, is traditionally one of the busiest online shopping days, and this year, research firm comScore said desktop sales (not including mobile) grew 18% over last year to $1.735 billion. That makes it the heaviest online spending day in the history of ecommerce. Other sources reported even higher year-over-year growth rates on Cyber Monday.

That compares to Black Friday growth of 15% over last year. Thanksgiving Day is a smaller volume day, but saw higher growth: 21% compared to Thanksgiving Day of last year. (See Monday’s report, How Etailers Fared on Thanksgiving, Black Friday Weekend.)

It’s also interesting to observe that comScore had pegged last year’s Cyber Monday growth rate at 17%.

ComScore: Top Gaining Categories
During the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, Consumer Electronics ranked as the fastest-gaining product category versus a year ago, followed by Video Game Consoles & Accessories, Home & Garden, Apparel & Accessories and Sport & Fitness.

ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said, “Any notion that Cyber Monday is declining in importance appears to be completely unfounded as its strong year-over-year growth rate of 18 percent resulted in yet another record for online spending in a single day,” said. “While it’s true that many retailers are bleeding their Cyber Monday promotions into the weekend before and the days afterward, Cyber Monday itself continues to be the most important day of the online holiday shopping season. That said, we did also see evidence of early promotions pulling some dollars forward into the weekend, so it is possible that Cyber Monday could have even been stronger were it not for the emergence of this trend.”

ComScore: Season Thusfar Sees 8%, No – 25% Growth?
Because Cyber Monday fell on Dec. 2, 2013, six days later than last year (Nov. 26, 2012), it makes it difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison to the holiday shopping season as a whole. Therefore, ComScore computed the numbers two ways.

The first comparison shows this year’s holiday shopping season grew a very low 8% – using last year’s dates of Nov. 2 – Dec. 3.

The second comparison shows a very high 25% growth – using last year’s dates of Oct. 26 – Nov. 26. Why so early? Because in 2012, Cyber Monday fell almost one week earlier, on Nov. 26th instead of Dec. 2nd.

In other words, the second number is an easier comparison because it includes a full week before Halloween, before holiday shopping has gone into full gear. Study the chart and draw your own conclusions about the season’s growth rate, and you can find the full release on the comScore website.

IBM: 20% Growth, but Flat Average Order Value 
IBM reported Cyber Monday online sales growth of 20.6%. However, average order value was $128.77, down 1% year-over-year.

Mobile sales grew 55.4% year-over-year. The company said “Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy.” Smartphones drove 19.7 percent of all online traffic compared to tablets at 11.5 percent, making it the browsing device of choice. When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 11.7 percent of all online sales, more than double that of smartphones, which accounted for 5.5 percent. On average, tablet users spent $126.30 per order compared to smartphone users who spent $106.49.

Adobe: Mobile Shopping Contributed 18% of Cyber Monday Sales
The Adobe Digital Index 2013 reported an increase of 16% year-over-year on Cyber Monday to $2.29 billion. A record 18.3 percent of sales came from mobile devices, an increase of 80%.

Adobe Digital Index Principal Analyst Tamara Gaffney said, “Retailers earned ten percent of their total holiday sales in just the last five days, an increase of 26 percent YoY.”

Adobe’s online shopping data is based on the analysis of nearly 900 million visits to 2000 retailers’ websites on Cyber Monday and more than three billion visits since Thanksgiving Day.

Custora reported Cyber Monday growth of 18% vs. Cyber Monday 2012.

  • One in three purchases was done on mobile devices (phones and tablets) on Cyber Monday.
  • Social Commerce didn’t happen on Cyber Monday: Social Networks (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) generated less than 1% in ecommerce sales on Cyber Monday.

Mercent reported its merchant clients found Google Shopping to be an effective channel on Cyber Monday and throughout the recent holiday shopping period (Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday).

  • Amazon.com was a key contributor to same seller growth for Mercent clients with 29% year-over-year growth on Thanksgiving Day and 25% year-over-year growth on Black Friday.
  • Google Shopping outpaced Amazon same-seller sales during this period and is increasingly showing itself as a highly competitive channel for Mercent retail clients. According to Mercent’s eCommerce Performance Index, Google Shopping grew approximately 70% and 47% on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday respectively.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.