Cyber Monday Results: Records, Mobile, and More

December 4, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media | Tablet

comScore-Thanksgiving-Weekend-Cyber-Monday-Desktop-E-Commerce-2013-v-2012-Dec2013As expected given the continuing growth of e-commerce, this year’s Cyber Monday set new records, with numerous researchers proclaiming it to be the biggest e-commerce spending day in US history. Data from comScore indicates that retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers alone totaled $1.735 billion, representing a strong 18% increase from last year’s figure, and the biggest single-day total yet by comScore’s tabulations. Meanwhile, Adobe reports that total online sales grew 16% to hit a new high of $2.29 billion.

What’s interesting to note – and what’s sometimes lost in the coverage – is that mobiles, which played such a big role on Thanksgiving weekend, were not as prevalent on Cyber Monday.

According to Adobe, mobile’s 18.3% share of total e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday was a step down from the previous few days, particularly from the 24% average across Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Even so, that 18.3% share of a growing pie means that smartphones ($129 million) and tablets ($290 million) together accounted for $419 million in sales.

Adobe notes that consumers seemed more comfortable shopping from their computers on Cyber Monday, and data from IBM supports that conclusion. IBM’s data demonstrates that mobile shopping did grow significantly from last year – with traffic increasing by 45% to 31.7% share of all online traffic, and total sales growing by 55.4% year-over-year to surpass 17% share. But, mobile’s share of traffic was down 20% from Black Friday while its share of sales was down 21%.

Finally, ChannelAdvisor data indicates that mobile’s share of traffic on Cyber Monday (32.4%) was down from Black Friday (39.6%), as was mobile’s share of orders (21% vs. 27%).

That may be because consumers were back at work on Monday – and many shopped from there. According to comScore’s data, 49.2% of Cyber Monday desktop sales came from work computers, up from 47.1% last year. However, Cyber Monday sales peaked between 8PM and 9PM Eastern Time on Cyber Monday, says Adobe, with $150 million in sales during that hour alone. That happens to be the hour when mobile sales peaked, at least on ShopPad’s network of more than 14,000 mobile-optimized SMB retailers. Also, ChannelAdvisor says that whereas most online traffic and sales in years past has occurred during the 11AM-5PM timeframe, this year traffic and sales sustained far into the evening hours, leading the researcher to theorize that mobiles “have some level of incrementality” to desktop sales rather than cannibalizing them.

Some more highlights from Cyber Monday and the broader holiday period to-date:

  • Social media referrals led to $150 million in revenues from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, reports Adobe. While Adobe says that social media referrals are flat at 2%, it notes that Twitter referrals have increased by 24% year-over-year, with Pinterest (17%) and Facebook (12%) also posting solid growth.
  • For its part, Custora indicates that social networks accounted for less than 1% of e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday, although (as always) it’s worth pointing out that social’s influence tends to be seen earlier in the purchase process.
  • Consumers referred from Facebook spent 6% more on average than those referred from Pinterest ($97.81 vs. $92.40) and converted at a 38% higher rate, reports IBM.
  • While smartphones drove more traffic than tablets (19.7% share vs. 11.5%) on Cyber Monday, IBM finds that tablets fueled twice as many sales (11.7% share vs. 5.5%), with tablet owners also spending more per order than smartphone owners ($126.30 vs. $106.49). ChannelAdvisor’s data shows the same pattern.
  • Apple devices accounted for 80% of mobile orders on Cyber Monday, per Custora, though Android’s 20% was an uptick from 13% last year. IBM sees a similar split, with iOS sales at 14.5% of all online sales, compared to just 2.6% for Android. IBM’s figures put Android a little closer to iOS in share of all online traffic (9.1% and 22.4%, respectively), but iOS users again outpaced their Android counterparts in average order value ($120.29 vs. $106.70).
  • The top-gaining product categories, per comScore, for the Thanksgiving Day-Cyber Monday period (desktop-only) were: consumer electronics; video game consoles and accessories; home and garden; apparel and accessories; and sport and fitness.
  • Also from comScore: the Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday period has seen 22% more desktop-based sales than the corresponding period last year. Adobe pegs online sales growth since Thanksgiving at 26%, while IBM puts the increase at 16.5%.
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