Once again, Cyber Monday saw an increase in online sales over the year before. IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark, which tracks online shopping transactions, showed that this year’s online sales were up 8.1 percent over the same period on Cyber Monday 2013.
IBM reported that as of 6 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, mobile traffic accounted for 38.3 percent of all online traffic on Cyber Monday, an increase of 30.3 percent year over year. And mobile sales accounted for 20.4 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, an increase of 30.1 percent year over year.
Cyber Monday online shopping continues to grow annually and this year many retailers are extending discounts further into the week to entice consumers to continue hunting for bargains online.
Among the key drivers behind the Cyber Monday trends were that consumers were able to cash-in on online bargains. The average order value was $131.66, flat compared to 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 4.1 items per order, up 3 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains, IBM said.
Meanwhile, desktop PC traffic represented 61.6 percent of all online traffic, and 79.6 percent of all online sales. Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $136.60 compared to their mobile devices at $116.96, a difference of 16.8 percent.
Yet, mobile shopping continues to grow – with smartphones used to browse and tablets used more often to make purchases. Smartphones drove 27.9 percent of total online traffic, almost three times that of tablets, which accounted for 10.1 percent of all online traffic. However, tablets are winning the shopping war. Tablet sales accounted for 11 percent of online sales, compared to smartphones, which accounted for 9.3 percent of total online sales, a difference of 18.6 percent.
Moreover, Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics: Average order value, online traffic and online sales. Apple iOS users averaged $122.05 per order compared to $101.65 for Android users, a difference 20.1 percent. Apple iOS traffic accounted for 26.1 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 11.8 percent of all online traffic. And Apple iOS sales accounted for 15.8 percent of total online sales, nearly four times that of Android, which drove 4.4 percent of all online sales.
IBM also noted that this year marked the first weekend after Thanksgiving where mobile traffic accounted for more than half of all online traffic, on Saturday and Sunday. Indeed, over the weekend, IBM’s benchmark continued to see strong mobile sales. Online sales were up 17 percent compared to the same weekend in 2013. Mobile traffic accounted for 51.2 percent of all online traffic this past weekend, an increase of 25.5 percent year over year. And mobile sales accounted for 28.9 percent of all online sales this past weekend, an increase of 24.9 percent year over year.
IBM Tracks Rise in Cyber Monday Online Shopping
In addition, IBM reported that also for the first time, online traffic from mobile devices outpaced traditional PCs on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day reached a new mobile tipping point with browsing on smartphones and tablets accounting for 52.1 percent of all online traffic. Overall Thanksgiving online sales were up 14.3 percent compared to 2013.
The mobile momentum carried into Black Friday, which saw a surge in both online and mobile shopping as consumers brought their devices into the store to comparison shop. Overall Black Friday online sales were up 9.5 percent year-over-year with mobile devices accounting for one-in-four of all online purchases. New York City also retained its title as the top U.S. city for Black Friday online shopping.
“Mobile has become the new Thanksgiving tradition as consumers find the best deals with their fingers as well as their feet,” said Jay Henderson, director of IBM Smarter Commerce, in a statement. “We saw retailers harness the power of data to engage shoppers, identifying the unique preferences of their customers while quickly capitalizing on online, mobile or in-store trends as they emerged.”
The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark is delivered to clients through the company’s Smarter Commerce initiative, which combines innovation from $3.5 billion invested to develop IBM’s customer engagement platform with expertise working with 8,000 global brands and 35,000 commerce engagements.
IBM reported that Thanksgiving Day online sales increased 14.3 percent over 2013, with Black Friday up 9.5 percent year-over-year. Average order value on Thanksgiving was $125.25, down 1.8 percent over 2013; Black Friday was $129.37, down 4.4 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains. Black Friday online sales were 63.5 percent higher than Thanksgiving Day. This is a decrease from 2013, however, when it was 70 percent higher as Thanksgiving online sales continue to eat into Black Friday shopping.
“Black Friday becomes more irrelevant every year,” Forrester retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said in a statement. “Black Friday has been eclipsed by Cyber Monday, shipping cut-off dates in December, and even Thanksgiving.”
Forrester forecasts online holiday sales will reach $89 billion this year. Mulpuru added that Cyber Monday “promises to be the biggest ever as more consumers shop online and look for great deals. It’s a short selling season again this year so retailers will need to be prepared for the few big dates that will be their big sales drivers.”