Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday 2012 poised to set records

Analysts expect Nov. 26, 2012, Cyber Monday, to set sales records. The so-called biggest Internet shopping day of the year dawned after a huge post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend: a record $59.1 billion was spent at U.S. stores and websites, according to the National Retail Federation.

It's interesting to note that despite the boffo weekend, Black Friday sales were down about 1.8 percent. It's possible that people, tired of the lines and waiting on Black Friday, were either hoping for better deals on Cyber Monday or heeding the advice that some were giving in terms of being patient and waiting.

There were harbingers of things to come on Cyber Monday: comScore reported that online sales on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally not a popular day for online shopping, rose 32 percent year-over-year to $633 million.

On Black Friday, despite the drop in overall Black Friday sales, online sales on rose 26 percent year-over-year, to $1.042 billion. It was the first time that online Black Friday sales breached the $1 billion mark.

There is the potential that in coming years, the Thanksgiving / Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales will all blend together. Still, it's expected that Cyber Monday will set a sales mark. On Cyber Monday 2011, sales rose 20 percent from 2010, to $1.2 billion, a record.

Mobile shopping -- and we mean on a device rather than on-the-go, per se -- is increasing in popularity and will probably rise again this year. In 2011, IBM said that 10.8 percent used a mobile device to do their online shopping, nearly tripling 2010's 3.9 percent. Sales from mobile devices were also nearly triple, at 6.6 percent on Cyber Monday 2011 vs. 2.3 percent in 2010.

As you might expect, the iPhone and iPad were tops among 2011 retail traffic. The iPhone was No. 1 at 4.1 percent, and the iPad ranked No. 2 at 3.3 percent, while Android (combined) was No. 3 at 3.2 percent.

IBM also coined the phrase "The iPad Factor". The iPad drove more retail sales, rather than just shopping, than any other device. Conversion rates reached 5.2 percent compared to 4.6 percent for the iPhone.

Naturally, it makes sense. The screen is bigger and so is the "buy" button. We'll see if the newer, cheaper Android tablets like the Nexus 7 and updated Kindle Fire make a dent, this year.

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