Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Jay Henderson, Strategy Director, IBM Smarter Commerce

By Jay Henderson

(Fourth in a Series on the Holiday Shopping Season. For the Complete Package Go to the Bottom of this Post.)

Given Black Friday’s strong performance this holiday season, we expected Cyber Monday, the Super Bowl of shopping to also score big this year – and it didn’t disappoint.

According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, as shoppers returned to work, they also returned to their PCs and in droves, resulting in a more than 30 percent increase in online sales over 2011. The digital consumer fueled the biggest spending day ever, as retailers, marketing departments, and chief marketing officers delivered a consistent customer experience across multiple channels from mobile devices, to online, to the showroom floor.

And it appears the year of mobile is finally upon us. Mobile traffic has been strong throughout the holiday weekend, as consumers seem to have included their smartphones as an extra utensil at the dinner table this Thanksgiving. What’s more, it seems consumers found “couch commerce” as their tryptophan hangover remedies, choosing to curl up on their couch with their trusted tablet to do a little post-pie shopping. Cyber Monday was no exception, with close to 13 percent of sales coming from a mobile device.

As part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also revealed the following trends:

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales increased 30.3 percent over 2011.
  • Shopping Peaks at 11:25am EST: Consumers flocked online, with shopping momentum hitting its highest peak at 11:25am EST. As in 2011, consumer shopping also maintained strong momentum after commuting hours on both the east and west coast.
  • Mobile Shopping and Mobile Traffic Increase: On Cyber Monday more than 18 percent of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, an increase of more than 70 percent over 2011. Mobile sales reached close to 13 percent, an increase of more than 96 percent over 2011.  
  • The iPad Factor: The iPad continued to generate more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, driving more than 7 percent of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 6.9 percent and Android 4.5 percent. The iPad also continued to dominate tablet traffic reaching a holiday high of 90.5 percent. Amazon Kindle leapt into second at 2.6 percent followed by the Samsung Galaxy at 2 percent and the Barnes and Noble Nook at 0.6 percent.
  • Multiscreen Shopping: 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.
  • The Savvy Shopper: While consumers continued to spend more, they once again shopped with greater frequency to take advantage of retailer deals as well as free shipping.  This led to a drop in average order value by 6.6 percent to $185.12.  However, the average number of items per order increased 14.1 percent to 8.34 compared to Black Friday.
  • Social Sales: Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated 0.41 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, a decrease of more than 26 percent from 2011.

What were customers on the hunt for this Cyber Monday? Sales growth was led by several industries:

  • Department stores continued to offer compelling deals and promotions that drove sales to grow by 43.1 percent over Cyber Monday 2011.
  • Health and Beauty sales increased 25.1 percent year over year with consumers once again choosing to pamper themselves this holiday.
  • Home goods maintained its momentum this year, reporting a 26.8 percent increase in sales from Cyber Monday 2011.
  • Apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Cyber Monday numbers showing an increase of 25.3 percent over 2011.

Stayed tuned for additional data and trends as they become available throughout the remainder of the holiday season. To join the conversation, follow the hashtags #smartershopping#smartercommerce#ibmretail and #IBMMobile on Twitter.

Today’s news is based on findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, the industry’s only cloud-based Web analytics platform that tracks more than a million e-commerce transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide. For complete coverage of the holiday shopping season and more, check out the IBM SmarterCommerce blog.


Additional Coverage in this Series:






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