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.

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