Online sales over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend topped the best sales numbers to date this year. For the holiday season-to-date, $16.4 billion has been spent online, marking a 16-percent increase over last year. Cyber Monday reached $1.465 billion in online spending, representing the heaviest online spending day in history, according to a report released this week by comScore.
“The term ‘Cyber Monday’ was coined by Shop.org in 2005 to refer to the significant jump in e-commerce spending that occurred following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as consumers got back to sitting in front of computer screens at work,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “At the time and for several years afterward, Cyber Monday was often misconstrued as the heaviest online spending day of the year, when in fact it barely cracked the top ten days of the season. However, with the passage of time, the day grew in importance as a result of an increasing number of retailers offering very attractive deals on the day and extensive digital media coverage making sure that consumers were aware of them. As a result, Cyber Monday has assumed the mantle of top online spending day for the past two years – a trend we expect to hold once again in 2012.”
One of the most interesting trends in the online shopping game, has been consumer use of mobile. Savvy shoppers made use of smartphones to get the best deals in store during Black Friday while turning to their iPads over the weekend for more relaxed cyber shopping at home.
“Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall 58.1 percent of consumers used smartphones compared to 41.9 percent who used tablets to surf for bargains on Cyber Monday,” according to a report released by IBM.
This trend creates a great opportunity for mobile app developers as well as retailers looking to capture customers in the very moment of a buying decision.
Social Media trends are also indicative of the growing US holiday tradition of spending the Thanksgiving weekend shopping together. Social shopping referrals from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube peaked on Friday as women gathered with mothers, sisters, daughters, and extended family to seek out the best holiday deals in the stores. Those same social referrals actually dropped a little over last year when it came to seeking out online deals on Monday. That seems to jive with American social habits. Black Friday has become a social event and certainly a natural fit with social media posting habits. Online shopping still tends to be a solitary endeavor with more focus given to making the purchase than sharing the experience.
Even though the holiday shopping season is far from over, there are already plenty of lessons to learn. With mobile use on the rise, there is plenty of room to grow for referral traffic from things like the new Pinterest pages for business. Count on Facebook to make Offers more and more mobile friendly. Thanks to the marketing power of Amazon and their new pages for independent retailers, small businesses will be more able to ride the Small Business Saturday wave right into Cyber Monday with online sales.
As always consumers want to ensure they get the best deal, but more and more they are indicating that they place a high value on making an informed decision.
Photo credits: Holiday Glee – courtesy © Subbotina Anna – Fotolia.com