Cyber Monday

While many reports indi­cated that, over­all, in-store shop­ping for Thanks­giv­ing week­end was slightly off, data from the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index (ADI) offers this bright spot: Online shop­ping on Cyber Mon­day hit $2.29 bil­lion in sales, which is less than 1% off ADI’s orig­i­nal pre­dic­tion and up 16% year-over-year (YOY).

Accord­ing to ADI num­bers (based on an exam­i­na­tion of 3 bil­lion vis­its to retail Web sites this past week­end), online sales for the five days from Thanks­giv­ing through Cyber Mon­day broke all pre­vi­ous records—a good indi­ca­tion that e-commerce is becom­ing the shop­ping activ­ity of choice in today’s dig­i­tal world.

More encour­ag­ing results for retail­ers: Total online sales since Thanks­giv­ing Day are up 26% YOY, to a whop­ping $7.4 bil­lion, which amounts to more than 10% of retail­ers’ total hol­i­day sales. Though tra­di­tional brick-and-click retail­ers dom­i­nated Thanks­giv­ing week­end, Inter­net retail­ers bat­tled back Mon­day in the war for hol­i­day shop­ping dol­lars with 42% of the day’s total sales—$961 mil­lion (Web) vs. $801 mil­lion (brick-and-click).

Shop­ping pat­terns this sea­son cer­tainly have taken some unex­pected twists, as retail­ers deliv­ered pro­mo­tions in waves and opened stores ear­lier on Thanks­giv­ing Day. Although the pro­mo­tions, in-store changes, and ear­lier shop­ping hours dra­mat­i­cally impacted Black Friday—pushing online sales up 39% YOY—Cyber Mon­day shop­ping pat­terns were con­sis­tent with pre­vi­ous years. Cyber Mon­day sales peaked between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. East­ern Time, with sales in that hour alone total­ing $150 million.

Social Sen­ti­ment Abounds
Along with the over­all shop­ping sales num­bers, sen­ti­ment in social media con­ver­sa­tions for the week­end pro­vided some inter­est­ing data about retail­ers and brands. Indi­ca­tions are, for instance, that the Sam­sung Galaxy tablet could be a big win­ner this year, as social sen­ti­ment for this brand name ranked high­est with an aver­age score of 6.4 out of 10. What’s more, ADI found that the vol­ume of buzz about the new Kin­dle Fire HDX began low on Thanks­giv­ing week­end, but increased 168% on Cyber Mon­day. The iPad con­tin­ued to have the most over­all buzz of any tablet or gam­ing console.

The gap in total buzz between the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox shrunk since the week­end, likely due to the shift in focus from elec­tron­ics to other prod­ucts on Cyber Monday.

Finally, retailer social media sen­ti­ment indi­cates con­sumers seem to love apparel retail­ers the most. The high­est pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment went to LL Bean (6.5), Banana Repub­lic (6.4), and For­ever 21 (6.0).

Social Media Refer­rals Rock!
While ADI has pre­vi­ously reported that social media plays more of an influ­encer role in the buy­ing process, dur­ing the past five days $150 mil­lion in rev­enue came from social media refer­rals. Twit­ter refer­rals have grown the most, with a 24% increase YOY. Pin­ter­est came in with 17% growth, and Face­book posted 12% growth. Over­all, social media refer­rals remain flat, at 2%, with other net­works, such as Tum­bler, Red­dit, Blog­ger, and YouTube, down against last year.

Mobile Plays Sup­port­ing Role
Mobile shat­tered pre­vi­ous records on Thanks­giv­ing Day and Black Fri­day at an aver­age sales con­tri­bu­tion of 24% and con­tributed to 80% growth in mobile sales YOY. On Cyber Mon­day, mobile played a lesser role, as con­sumers seemed more than happy to sit at their work com­put­ers or at home with their lap­tops in the evening hours and shop. Even at the 18.3 per­cent­age of sales on Cyber Mon­day, how­ever, the total sales attrib­uted to a tablet or smart­phone this Cyber Mon­day was $419 mil­lion ($290 mil­lion from tablets and $129 mil­lion from smart­phones). Twenty-nine per­cent of vis­its to retail­ers’ Web sites came from smart­phones, but these vis­i­tors con­verted to sales at a much lower rate than did tablets or desk­top users.

Cyber Mall Of Amer­ica
Inter­est­ingly, the states with the high­est per­cent­age of sales from mobile devices were not the wealth­i­est ones. Alaska and Hawaii, which have a lower per­cent­age of desk work­ers, tied for first place, with 26.6% of sales com­ing from tablets and smart­phones. North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming (also the high­est on Cyber Mon­day in rev­enue per visit online) rounded out the top five.

Green Mon­day On The Hori­zon
We do not expect the increase in Thanks­giv­ing Day dol­lars to take away any incre­men­tal busi­ness from the reminder of the hol­i­day sea­son. How­ever, mov­ing for­ward, retail­ers must con­tinue to break records in order to make up the poten­tial loss of $1.5 bil­lion due to a six-day shorter sell­ing sea­son this year.

Look­ing ahead, online sales will peak again next Mon­day (called Green Mon­day, a term coined by eBay), and many coun­tries will expe­ri­ence their own Cyber Mon­day events.

Sophie Thompson
Sophie Thompson

Fantastic way of describing the way in which the digital world is becoming used more widely for shopping. The part about Black Friday and Cyber Monday links to one of our past articles, highlighting the shift in markets and importance of eCommerce: Another article from ( alsohas some interesting predictions for this year’s figures.