Spending on Cyber Monday (November 29), the e-commerce equivalent of Black Friday, reached $1.028 billion, up 16 percent year-over-year, representing the heaviest online spending day in history and the first to surpass the billion-dollar threshold, according to comScore. For the November – December 2010 holiday season to date (November 1-29), $13.55 billion has been spent online, a 13-percent increase versus the corresponding days the prior year. The figures do not include spending on travel.
“The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of the Reston, Va.-based company which measures digital data. “At the same time, it’s important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers’ heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season. So, while we anticipate that there will be more billion-dollar spending days ahead as we get deeper into the season, only time will tell if overall consumer online spending remains at the elevated levels we’ve seen thus far.”
Cyber Monday’s growth in sales was driven primarily by an increase in average spending per buyer (up 12 percent) while the number of buyers on Cyber Monday grew by a lower 4 percent to 9 million, the company said. The average spending per transaction grew 10 percent to $60.05, while the total number of transactions increased 6 percent to 17.1 million.
Nearly half of dollars spent online at U.S. Web sites originated from work computers (48.9 percent), representing a decline of 3.8 percentage points from last year. Buying from home comprised the majority of the remaining share (45.4 percent) while buying at U.S. Web sites from international locations accounted for 5.8 percent of sales.
“While online shopping from work originally occurred to take advantage of broadband speeds that people lacked at home, it was widely believed that this would decline markedly as home broadband connectivity increased,” Fulgoni said. The fact that spending from work remains so prevalent suggests other explanations. It is more likely that consumers continue to shop from work primarily because by doing so they are able to shop for holiday gifts while minimizing the risk that their children, spouses and significant others might see what Santa will bring .”
Cyber Monday is a marketing term created by Shop.org, an association of digital retailers, to encourage consumers to shop online. It is held on the first Monday following Black Friday.