Cyber Monday 2011 Marks Biggest U.S. Online Spending Day in History


Cyber Monday 2011 was the heaviest U.S. online spending day in history, with the holiday season as a whole up 15 percent YoY to $15 billion this season-to-date. Average order values increased 2.6 percent and mobile traffic to retail sites are up 3.9 percent over the biggest online shopping day a year earlier, according to just-released reports from IBM, comScore, PayPal, and others.

The numbers differ slightly depending on the source, though this year’s upward trend in Cyber Monday spending and traffic holds across the board. IBM puts the total Cyber Monday YoY increase at 33 percent, based on their evaluation of more than a million transactions across 500 retailer sites. ComScore, on the other hand, reported a more modest 22 percent increase, with total spend reaching $1.25 billion, making it only the second day in history to top the billion-dollar mark.

“Cyber Monday was yet another historic day for e-commerce, with online spending reaching a record $1.25 billion,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. “It was just the second billion dollar spending day on record, following on the heels of Cyber Monday 2010. While last year saw Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year for the first time ever, it will be interesting to watch the next couple of weeks to see if any future individual days in 2011 manage to leapfrog this year’s highest day-to-date.”

Mobile Traffic and Sales Make Gains: PayPal Mobile, IBM

PayPal Mobile reported a 552 percent YoY global increase in Cyber Monday global mobile payment volume. This represents 154 percent more than the average Monday and 17 percent more than Black Friday 2011.

Mobile traffic to e-commerce sites rose from 3.9 percent on Cyber Monday 2010 to 10.8 percent this year, according to IBM. Sales as a result of that heavier traffic increased from 2.3 to 6.6 percent YoY.

Half of All Cyber Monday Shopping Done from Work

This particular statistic is sure to leave employers everywhere wondering if anything actually got done on Monday. ComScore reported that for 50.2 percent of all money spent online that day in the U.S. Cyber Monday rush, the transactions took place on work computers. They also revealed that 6.6 percent of online sales on U.S. websites that day were by international buyers.

“The Cyber Monday phenomenon originated from the significant spike in e-commerce activity that traditionally occurred following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with many consumers turning to their work computers to continue their holiday gift buying – and that pattern still exists today,” added Mr. Fulgoni. “Looking forward to the balance of the season, it will be very important to continue to monitor the trend in consumer spending to determine the degree to which retailers’ heavy promotional activity at the beginning of the shopping season, and consumers’ encouraging response, has pulled forward consumers’ future buying.”

More Cyber Monday Insights, By The Numbers

  • Mobile device retail traffic was driven as follows: iPhone – 4.1 percent; iPad – 3.3 percent; Android – 3.2 percent [IBM]. 
  • U.S. eBay Mobile shoppers spent two and a half times more on the mobile shopping channel than on Cyber Monday 2010 [eBay Mobile]. 
  • The total number of online shoppers this year increased 11 percent over last, with average spent per buyer up 11 percent to $124.82 [comScore]. 
  • iPad users convert better, at 5.2 percent compared to 4.6 percent overall [IBM].

Bing reported that searches for Cyber Monday deals from specific top retailers including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and Target spiked on Monday. The top consumer electronics searches were for LCD TVs, GPS, and home theaters.

Another Bing search term that spiked on Cyber Monday: “pepper sprayed shoppers.”

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