While it’s still early in the holiday shopping timeframe, consumers took advantage of the promotional Cyber Monday sales to the tune of $3.07 billion, up 16% from last year and the largest day ever for online sales in the U.S., according to a report by Adobe Digital Index.
Adobe found that the average discount on items sold on Cyber Monday was 21.5% and electronics, toys and apparel were among the most items purchased. The report found that orders grew 14.7% and average order value (AOV) was up 1.3%, indicating a somewhat less promotion-driven Cyber Monday than last year.
“But many businesses fared better this year because they planned it out better,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group. “Overall, pretty much every retailer performed better than in years past.”
Retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s that have omni-channel strategies in place were likely able to make up some ground on Cyber Monday after a lackluster sales report from the four preceding days. ShopperTrak notes that brick and mortar retailers overall saw a 10.4% decline in sales for the four-day weekend compared to last year.
Pure play e-tailer Amazon.com saw a 21% increase in Cyber Monday sales, estimated e-commerce software advisor ChannelAdvisor. Amazon said sales of electronic gadgets more than tripled over the entire Thanksgiving weekend, with the Fire tablet its top-selling product.
A report from Fayetteville-based Field Agent found that more than one in three consumers planned to visit Amazon.com first on Cyber Monday. BestBest.com was No. 2 with 10% of consumers saying that was the first site they would visit for big deals on CyberMonday. Walmart.com which did fairly well on Black Friday was No. 3 tying with Target.com.
Other sites visited by consumers were eBay and Kohl’s of which 2% said these were the sites they would shop first on CyberMonday. Apple, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Express, Macy’s and Toy’s R Us were also mentioned in Field Agent report with each getting a 1% share of the votes for first websites visited on Cyber Monday.
The increase in online sales for Cyber Monday shouldn’t be a surprise given that e-commerce has been growing at roughly 15% year-over-year for the past five years, said Keith Anderson, analyst with Profitero, an e-commerce consulting firm in Boston.
“At fewer than 10% of all retail sales, e-commerce has a lot of runway. Expanding assortments, improving convenience, intensifying price competition and a generation of digital natives are all accelerants,” Anderson said.
While Cyber Monday is the mother lode for online shopping the Field Agent report also found that plenty of consumers opted to shop online before Black Friday with pre-holiday sales that began at various retailers. Amazon was again the biggest winner with 15% of Field Agent respondents saying that was where they did the most online shopping prior to Black Friday. Walmart.com came in second with 7%, and 4% said they chose Target.com or Kohl’s as the online sites shopped the most ahead of Black Friday.
Mobile devices accounted for 26.9% of online sales, according to the Adobe report. But with more consumers shopping online this holiday season some sites such as Target.com and luxury retailer Neiman Marcus reported outages during Cyber Monday. Walmart.com and other retail sites reported sluggish speeds during the Thanksgiving weekend.
The virtual lines were unexpected by consumers as they often choose e-commerce over brick and mortar shopping to avoid such things. This extended wait time online caused roughly 14 in every 100 shoppers to log out and move on. The Adobe report found this abandon rate was double the average for a normal day.
Retail analysts said there will be at least one more time to cash in on promotional online sales and the deals may even be better on Dec. 18, (free shipping day). Savings.com analyzed more than 1.5 million deals offered by 25,000 retailers online and in store over the past five years, and found that the days with the most and deepest discounts vary according to item type.
The report said toys are often cheapest during the second and third week of December and apparel deals are often best during the same time. Novelty gifts often are cheapest around Dec. 22. Electronics are typically sold at low prices beginning Thanksgiving Day; but for large screen televisions, experts say there are also plenty of deals in January ahead of the Super Bowl.