Cyber Monday sets mark as top online shopping day
By MAE ANDERSON AP Retail Writer November 26, 2012 6:30PM
Packages ready to ship move along a conveyor belt at the Amazon.com 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in Phoenix. Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history. Shoppers are expected to spend $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday, up 20 percent from last year, according to research firm comScore. That would not only make it the biggest online shopping day of the year, but the biggest since comScore started tracking shoppers' online buying habits in 2001. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:27AM
Cyber Monday was an online shopping bonanza, with sales rising 30.3 percent, making it the biggest online shopping day ever, according to a group that tracks online sales.
Results show Americans are getting more comfortable shopping across all screens — computers, smartphones and tablets — and retailers are capitalizing on this by improving e-commerce offerings and beefing up Cyber Monday-specific deals. According to IBM Benchmark, which tracks online sales, Cyber Monday sales were led by department stores, which saw sales jump 43.1 percent. The group does not disclose total dollar amounts.
Online sales are still only about 10 percent of total holiday spending, but that’s growing every year. The National Retail Federation estimates that overall retail sales in November and December will be up 4.1 percent this year to $586.1 billion.
IBM Benchmark said that per capita spending fell 6.6 percent to $185.12. But total revenue rose, because more people shopped online, said Jay Henderson, strategy director of IBM Smarter Commerce.
NBG Productions analyst Brian Sozzi said that the decline in the per capita figure could be a problem for retailers, despite the total increase in sales.
“Retailers have done a fine job at shifting the pool of holiday buyers to earlier in the season, but have not necessarily created demand outside of the carefully scrutinized shopping list,” he said. “Moreover, these sales are being done with sharp promos, so one really has to be concerned with the profit trajectory of many retailers.”
A bigger picture of how holiday sales have fared so far will emerge when retailers post November sales reports on Thursday.
IBM Benchmark takes sales results from over 500 online retailers and analyzes the data using a cloud-based web analytics platform to estimate total online spending.
One group that estimates the total dollar amount of online sales, comScore Inc., will release data about Cyber Monday on Wednesday.