Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Adds To Online Shopping Binge


With online shopping exploding, Cyber Monday deals were expected to add to retailers' holiday cheer. Amazon.com posted a 105 percent jump in sales on Black Friday, and an analyst described it as "dancing naked in the aisles." Cyber Monday sales were likely to display another sign of consumer confidence returning in the form of online activity.

E-commerce is exploding in the early days of the holiday shopping season -- and that's before Cyber Monday. Add to that the record number of Americans who plan to shop online Relevant Products/Services for one-day-only deals and free shipping, and it looks like retailers have reason to celebrate.
According to Mercent's Retail eCommerce Performance Index for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday 2010 Relevant Products/Services, online retailers saw a 32 percent sales boost over the year-ago period. Amazon.com posted a 58 percent increase on Thanksgiving Day year over year. On Black Friday, Amazon posted a 105 percent year-over-year gain.
"Although price sensitivity is still top of mind for consumers, shoppers have pent-up demand and are showing a willingness to spend online," said Mercent CEO Eric Best. "Data shows discretionary spending is up over last year, and online shoppers are finding some of the best retail deals and promotions online, both of which are contribution factors to this year's positive GMV results."
Shopping from Smartphones
And that was just the beginning. Shop.org reported 106.9 million people planned to shop on Cyber Monday. That's up from 96.5 million last year. Nearly 90 percent of retailers were offering special promotions on Monday.
"As the official kickoff to the online holiday shopping season, Cyber Monday shoppers will scour the Internet looking for holiday gifts from a variety of retailers, making sure to take note of specific prices and deals which offer them holiday savings," said Joan Broughton, interim executive director of Shop.org.
While 89.5 percent (96 million) of Cyber Monday shoppers planned to shop from their home computer Relevant Products/Services, Shop.org reported a growing number said they would shop via their smartphone. More than seven million people (6.9 percent) planned to use a mobile Relevant Products/Services device for Cyber Monday shopping, nearly double the estimated four million who shopped that way last year (3.8 percent).
What's more, slightly fewer people planned to shop from work on Cyber Monday (12.1 percent, vs 13.5 percent last year). A Shop.org survey released last week estimated 70 million Americans would shop from work at some point during the holiday season.
"Mobile shopping gives parents the opportunity to keep their children's and family members' wandering eyes away from the computer screen as they search Relevant Products/Services for the perfect holiday gift," said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at BIGresearch. "When deciding which Cyber Monday deals to take advantage of, many shoppers will use their mobile device to comparison shop, find the best prices, or read customer Relevant Products/Services reviews to help them make their final purchase."
Dancing in the Virtual Aisles
According to the survey, 44.2 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers planned to hit the web early, with more than one-third (37.5 percent) planning to shop in the late morning. Additionally, more than one-fourth of Cyber Monday shoppers (28.5 percent) planned to shop in the early evening.
"Numbers for the first two days were huge," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "The expectations are that the numbers will be at least as big today as everybody else moves to buy. With a 105 percent increase, Amazon is probably dancing naked in the aisles, and that wasn't even the big shopping day. It does look like we've got warming consumer confidence, and that's translating into massive increases in online sales."

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