This Was the Biggest Cyber Monday Ever

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adobe data: Cyber Monday 2015 will hit a record $3B in sales, sale product shortages hit all-time high.

Adobe, citing data collected through 6 p.m. Cyber Monday isn’t over yet but it already looks poised to set a record this year, with early indications that online sales have grown 14% and leading retail websites including Target crashing temporarily, seemingly overwhelmed by high customer traffic.

NEW YORK — Shoppers in the United States traded bricks for clicks on Monday, flocking online to snap up “Cyber Monday” deals on everything from cashmere sweaters to “Star Wars” toys.WASHINGTON – Online sales for the key holiday retail day of “Cyber Monday” were on track for a record, helped by surging smartphone shopping, market trackers said.

Smartphones have put the Internet in our pockets, meaning there’s less need to wait until Monday morning when people return to their office computers to scope out the digital deals.Digital firm Adobe, which tracks online sales, projected Cyber Monday sales to top off at a record $2.98 billion in sales, up 12% from the previous year, making it the largest online sales day of 2015 for U.S. companies.

Now that shoppers are online all the time anyway, the 10-year-old shopping holiday has lost some of its lustre as online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday pick up. Plus, holiday shoppers have already been on a digital spending tear for several days: 103 million people shopped online between Thanksgiving and Sunday, and consumers spent a record $8.03 billion online during that time period, a 17 percent increase over last year. NRF changed its survey methodology this year to account for shifts in online and mobile shopper behavior and most of the results are not comparable to previous years.

It’s too early for sales figures, but Monday was still expected to be the biggest online shopping day ever in the U.S., likely racking up more than $3 billion US in sales, according to comScore. The site remained working, if slower than usual. “As we experience spikes in traffic, our systems place guests in a queue,” a Target spokesperson said in a statement. “We apologize to guests who experience any delays, we appreciate their patience, and encourage them to try again in a few minutes by refreshing their browser.” Similar technical difficulties were reported during the five-day shopping spree starting on Thanksgiving by PayPal, department store chain Neiman Marcus, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret and Foot Locker. Even as retailers were ringing up big online sales, the day provided ample evidence that some of them still have a long way to go to adapt to an era when more and more people are shopping from their smartphones and tablets.

Although as the shopping season becomes more prolonged, fewer people are expected to shop online on Monday itself compared with last year, 121.3 million vs. 126.9 million in 2014, NRF says. Sales on Cyber Monday, the busiest day of the year for internet shopping, were up 14% from a year earlier at $490m between midnight and 10am ET, according to Adobe Digital Index, part of Adobe Systems Inc, which provides digital marketing and media solutions to merchants.

Although the Monday deals didn’t come close to matching the retail door-busters that saw $400 TVs selling for $150 on Thanksgiving Day, many online retailers have been offering substantial price cuts and free shipping to get folks to buy. Adobe tracked 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 US retailers and said sales are on track to meet its expectation of a record $3bn by the end of the day. Amid a crush of traffic, the retailer said it had to resort to metering activity on its site, prompting frustrated shoppers to get a message advising them to “please hold tight.” Meanwhile, Adobe reports that as of 10 a.m., 15 out of 100 product views across the e-commerce landscape were showing an item that was out of stock. The 14% boost on Monday is equivalent to the 14% jump in sales that Adobe recorded for Black Friday online shopping, when it tracked the activity of 4,500 retail websites.

IBM meanwhile predicted Cyber Monday online sales would grow by more than 18 percent from last year, led by big-ticket items such as Samsung, Sony and LG televisions as well as Apple Watch and Beats headphones. That likely means some shoppers who hit the Web later in the day came up empty, especially on certain in-demand toys (especially “Star Wars” items) and electronics. Adobe says the best selling tech items of Monday were 4K TVs, followed by the Microsoft Xbox video game console, Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Air 2 and the Sony PlayStation PlayStation 4. And despite earlier start times to sales, Black Friday remains the most popular day to shop, as more than 74 million people hit stores the day after Thanksgiving, compared with 34.6 million who shopped in stores on Thanksgiving, NRF says. Wal-Mart, for example, started its Cyber Monday sale at 8 p.m. on Sunday after noticing in previous years that many shoppers started hunting for the deals around that time.

Drones and some “Star Wars” toys were hard to find as well. “There are certain hot products, hover boards seem to be a phenomenon, they’re selling out everywhere,” said Scot Wingo, chair of ChannelAdvisor, which provides e-commerce services to retailers. Cyber Monday’s traffic and purchasing patterns underscored the extent to which the retail wars are increasingly being fought on the smallest of screens. Meanwhile online sales experienced a significant boost, up 21.5% on Black Friday compared with Black Friday 2014, according to IBM Watson Trend, which monitors millions of transactions from retail websites. “It’s going to be highly promotional,” Gregorski says. “Everybody is going to be battling for that shopper throughout the entire month of December as well.” ET. “If you wouldn’t mind holding, we’ll refresh automatically & get things going ASAP.” The site had been running earlier in the morning and was up again before 11 a.m.

Some stores such as Macy’s have begun opening their doors on Thanksgiving; Radio Shack said this year it would offer its deals on Wednesday; and Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, began offering some deals as early as 20 November, a week in advance. Consultancy Kurt Salmon, which works with retailers on supply chain issues, said it has found that some large retailers had trouble filling seasonal jobs in their online distribution centers this holiday season. An estimated 60% of US consumers – a record number – started their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving this year, the National Retail Federation found. More people shopped over the Thanksgiving weekend than expected and that was expected to either stoke the Cyber Monday movement or cut into the buying activity. On Monday, department stores whose share prices had already declined recently, due to low expectations going into the last two months of 2015, fell further.

The strong online sales growth over the holiday weekend, did not appear to give investors confidence that retailers were in for an especially merry Christmas. Research firm comScore expected online sales to rise 14 per cent to $70.06 billion During the November and December shopping period, slowing slightly from last year’s 15 per cent rise.

Nearly one-fourth of shoppers (24.4%), or 29.6 million consumers, said they planned to use their mobile device for Cyber Monday shopping, the NRF said. Many have a list of “target” products they want to buy, and might quickly switch to another site to buy them, even if the discount isn’t quite as deep. Of the shopping holiday, Thanksgiving had better deals than Cyber Monday — the average discount was 26% on Thursday, compared with 23% Monday, she says.

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