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Cyber Monday 2012: The Results


Cyber Monday 2012 has come and gone. So how did the biggest online shopping day of the year compare to years past? Let’s find out…

  • Big sales increase (again) – According to an IBM report, Cyber Monday sales increased by 30.3% compared to last year. The number of consumers shopping online peaked at approximately 11:25 AM EST with another strong peak later in the evening at approximately 9:10 PM EST. These peaks are likely due to the commuting patterns throughout the U.S. during traditional work hours as people shop once they get to work and when they arrive home.

  • Mobile shopping soars – According to IBM, more than 18% of online shoppers used a mobile device to shop online on Cyber Monday 2012, an increase of over 70% from the previous year. Mobile sales accounted for approximately 13% of all sales for online retailers, almost double the amount of mobile sales on Cyber Monday 2011. The iPad dominated mobile traffic, surprisingly ahead of smartphone models, and accounted for over 90% of all tablet traffic to retail sites.
  • At-home shopping increases – Cyber Monday, since its inception in 2005, has been known as an online holiday for consumers to shop as they return to work on Monday after the long Thanksgiving weekend. According to comScore, for the first time ever, purchases made from at-home devices (up 4% in 2012 to 47.2%) surpassed purchases made from work devices (down 3.1% to 47.1%). This shift in shopping location is likely tied to the increased usage in mobile devices, especially at home during the early and late hours of Cyber Monday.
  • Consumers shop smarter – As online shoppers continue to spend more on Cyber Monday, they are also becoming smarter in regards to where their dollars are spent in order to take advantage of promotions such as free shipping. According to IBM, the average order value on Cyber Monday dropped 6.6% to $185.12, but the average number of items per order increased 14.1% to 8.34 items.
  • Pinterest leads social sales growth – According to Adobe, sales generated via Facebook and Twitter accounted for 77% for all social referral sales on Cyber Monday 2012, a percentage which is almost identical to Cyber Monday 2011. However, Pinterest was the big winner in the social media space this Cyber Monday with approximately 15% of social referral sales, a 105% increase from last year. Social referral sales from other social media sites (such as MySpace) fell to only 8%.

  • Cyber Monday is getting competition – In our preview post related to Cyber Monday 2012, we mentioned that Black Friday saw exceptional growth in online sales last year and could challenge Cyber Monday in the future as the biggest online shopping day of the year. According to comScore, Black Friday online sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time ever ($1.04 billion) with approximately 57.3 million Americans visiting at least one online retail site on Black Friday (an 18% increase from last year).  As more retailers develop multi-channel solutions it will likely become more common for these retailers to offer the same in-store promotions to their online audience.

Cyber Monday 2012 was yet another historic day for the online retail industry. With double digit sales growth and initial sales reports roughly in the $1.5 to $2 billion range it’s no surprise more records were once again broken this year. The major difference between Cyber Monday 2012 and previous years is primarily the exponential growth of mobile shopping, likely a key catalyst behind at-home sales overtaking workplace sales for the very first time. As the online retail industry continues to evolve, days such as Thanksgiving and Black Friday will likely continue to see strong online sales growth as multi-channel retailers continue to unify their online and offline promotions.