E-commerce spending rose on Cyber Monday 2010, in what analyst firm comScore termed the "heaviest online spending day in history."
Created in 2005 as a marketing buzzword, "Cyber Monday" denotes the Monday following Thanksgiving, when holiday shoppers supposedly use their return to work-and presumably, their office's broadband connection-to embark on an online shopping spree. Indeed, online sales have traditionally risen on that date. Cyber Monday 2010 saw $1.028 billion dollars in sales, a 16 percent increase from $887 million in 2009.
"Cyber Monday was a historic day for e-commerce as we saw daily spending surpass $1 billion for the first time," comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni wrote in a Dec. 1 statement. "It's important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers' heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season."
Fulgoni added: "While we anticipate that there will be more billion-dollar spending days ahead as we get deeper into the season, only time will tell if overall consumer online spending remains at the elevated levels we've seen thus far."
Individual shoppers spent an average of $114.24 on e-commerce during this year's Cyber Monday, a 12 percent increase from 2009. Nearly half of those dollars originated from Websites visited on work computers. "Since its inception, e-commerce activity has been driven heavily by people making online purchases while at work," Fulgoni wrote, "an effect that is magnified on Cyber Monday as people return to their desks after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend."
Those shoppers also began their online shopping ahead of Cyber Monday; according to comScore's numbers, Black Friday 2010 also enjoyed a year-over-year increase in e-commerce, rising 9 percent to $648 million.
That data dovetails neatly with findings by other research firms.
"Online retail leveraged its 24/7 sales opportunity by turning Thanksgiving into a shopping day and forcing brick-and-mortar stores to respond by opening their doors," Stephen Baker, the NPD Group's vice president of industry analysis, wrote in a Nov. 29 posting on his firm's blog. "Cyber Monday became Cyber Weekend with sales promotions starting on Thanksgiving and running through the holiday weekend and beyond."
According to analytics-based findings from IBM, Black Friday online sales enjoyed a year-over-year increase of 15.9 percent. Mobile devices also became a more prominent shopping channel, used by 5.6 percent of customers to access a retailer's Website-an increase of 26.7 percent over Black Friday 2009.
"We're watching online retail, and increasingly social media and mobile, become the growth engines for retailers everywhere," John Squire, chief strategy officer for IBM Coremetrics, wrote in a Nov. 27 release posted on IBM's corporate Website. "Consumers embrace online shopping not only for its ease and convenience, but as a primary means of researching goods and services."