Cyber Monday E-Commerce Sales Shatter Records, Led by Mobile

Numerous retail organizations and research firms predicted that there would be a significant rise in holiday shopping via mobile devices this holiday season, and it turns out they are right so far. Early reports indicate that Cyber Monday’s overall online sales topped $2 billion, shattering last year's U.S. e-commerce record of $1.465 billion. Plus, 18.3 percent of all online sales across the 2,000 major retail sites that the Adobe Digital Index 2013 measures came from tablets or smartphones, an 80% increase over last year. Mobile traffic exceeded 17 percent of total online sales, an increase of 55.4 percent over 2012's Cyber Monday, according to IBM Digital Analytics data. Retailers catering to smartphone and tablet users benefited the most, with mobile traffic accounting for 32 percent of site visits, a 45 percent rise from last year. Adobe found that tablets were responsible for 12.7 percent of online sales, with iPads generating 10.1 percent of tablet sales. Android tablets generated only 1 percent of online sales on Cyber Monday. Interestingly, Alaska and Hawaii generated 26.6 percent of sales from mobile devices, well above the national average for mobile share. PayPal (NASDAQ: EBAY) executives also recognized the value of mobile transactions on Cyber Monday, saying that the online payment service realized a 93.6 percent increase in consumers shopping through PayPal on their mobile devices and a 115.6 percent spike in global mobile total payment volume. “According to PayPal data, consumers continued to turn to their mobile devices to conduct their shopping, following what we saw on Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2013 as consumers expect to shop and pay at their convenience during the holiday season,” Stacy General, PayPal customer experience advocate, wrote on PayPal’s Forward blog. While mobile growth is important, we are impressed with online retailers’ overall record-breaking sales on Cyber Monday, as well as Thanksgiving and Black Friday. We believe that this growth is linked to the significant investments in technology and manpower that retailers have made in improving their order fulfillment and online shopping experience. StorefrontBacktalk has written about many of those efforts, including Amazon and Walmart’s additions of distribution centers and delivery options (such as Amazon’s agreement with USPS for Sunday delivery). Traditional brick-and-mortar chains like Macy’s (NYSE:M), J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP), and Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) have also significantly shored up their e-commerce operations and fulfillment. In its November earnings report, released on December 4, JC Penney reported strong Black Friday weekend and e-commerce sales that ran "well ahead of last year." "We are pleased with our performance over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, particularly in light of the continued spending pressures on consumers," JC Penney CEO Myron E. Ullman III said in an earnings statement. Overall online sales reached $2.29 billion on Cyber Monday, a 16 percent increase over last year, and that figure could rise to 21 percent over 2012's Cyber Monday growth, according to separate data from IBM. In addition, e-commerce sales on Thanksgiving topped $1 billion for the first time, an 18 percent increase from last year. Black Friday, too, saw a sharp rise in online sales, with $1.93 billion in revenue, a 30 percent increase over last year. Altogether, Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday also capped the highest five-day online sales period on record, with sales climbing 16.5 percent over the same 5-day window last year.