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Cyber Monday Sales Up 33%: IBM

By Alan Wolf -- TWICE, 11/29/2011

Armonk, N.Y. - The momentum from Black Friday weekend carried into so-called Cyber Monday, with total online sales climbing 33 percent year over year.

According to IBM's Smarter Commerce service, Monday's online take exceeded Black Friday web purchases by 29.3 percent, as consumers pushed yesterday's average order value up 2.6 percent over last year to $198.26.

IBM's findings jibe with reports from CE merchants including Abt Electronics, which enjoyed a 21 percent surge in online sales and a record 29 percent increase in traffic on Cyber Monday. On average, Abt's online customers spent 14 percent more this year than last, with tablets, LED TVs, digital cameras, upright vacuums and headphones leading the sales charge, president Jon Abt said.

Mobile devices played an increasingly important role in yesterday's tallies. According to IBM, nearly 11 percent of shoppers used a mobile device to visit e-tail sites on Cyber Monday, up from 3.9 percent in 2010, which helped spur a 187 percent increase in mobile channel share, to 6.6 percent of all Cyber Monday purchases.

Apple's iPhone and iPad remained the two top devices for mobile traffic on Monday, together accounting for 7.4 percent of all online visits vs. 3.2 percent for all Android devices.

But when it came to mobile purchases, iPad was the No. 1 platform of choice, with conversion rates reaching 5.2 percent, compared with 4.6 percent for all other devices.

Still, total mobile sales were higher on Black Friday (9.8 percent of all web purchases) than Cyber Monday (6.6 percent), as was mobile traffic (14.3 percent vs. 10.8 percent).

And despite retailers' newfound focus on social-networking sites, sales referrals from Facebook and other forums amounted to only 0.56 percent of all online sales on Cyber Monday, and 0.53 percent on Black Friday. Of that, Facebook was the No. 1 social-networking site, accounting for 86 percent of all social-media traffic on Monday.

Online shopping peaked at 2:05 p.m. EST on Monday, and maintained strong momentum after commuting hours on both the East and West coasts, IBM reported.

"Cyber Monday was once again the big winner for the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, with a record number of consumers focused on finding the best online deals," observed John Squire, chief strategy officer of IBM Smarter Commerce. "Retailers that adopted a smarter approach to commerce, one that allowed them to swiftly adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile device, were able to fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend."

The findings are based on IBM's fourth annual Cyber Monday Benchmark, which tracks more than a million transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 leading U.S. retailers.

Cyber Monday was created in 2005 by, the online arm of the National Retail Federation (NRF) trade association, as an e-commerce equivalent to Black Friday to encourage web-based sales.

©2011 NewBay Media, LLC.

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