Cyber Monday Was Record-Setting, Amazon & eBay Reign Supreme
Reports vary depending on who you ask but by most accounts, Black Friday was strong.
Shoppers spent about $1.2 billion on Black Friday alone representing a 15 percent year over year increase from 2012, according to comScore but did Cyber Monday retailers see the same kind of interest?
Bloomberg reported that as of 9:00 p.m. Monday, the answer was yes. Citing data from IBM, online sales were up 19 percent year over year. Of particular note, retailers in the smartphone and tablet space accounted for 30 percent of total site visits—a year over year increase of 58 percent.
On the surface these numbers look strong and signal an economy that has recovered significantly from only a few years ago but it’s not good news for brick and mortar retailers.
Black Friday was certainly strong but much of the strength was due to online shopping. ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said, "Clearly many consumers prefer to avoid the crowds and lines typically associated with Black Friday by shopping from the comfort of their own homes, and we saw a record 66 million Americans do that this year.”
According to the National Retail Federation, online sales will likely climb 15 percent to $82 billion this holiday season—three times faster than total growth in spending of 3.9 percent. Foot traffic at brick and mortar retailers was up only about three percent on Black Friday.
Just like Black Friday, the Cyber Monday winners appear to be Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY). Amazon advertised 46 percent off on a Canon digital camera while eBay had diamond stud earrings priced at an 80 percent discount among their many discounted items.
Amazon’s same store sales were up 47 percent year over year as of 10:30 a.m. New York Time Monday. EBay was up 21 percent year over year.
And of course, the large uptick in online shopping isn’t just good for online retailers but also for shippers. The U.S. Postal Service says that it will ship 420 million packages during the holiday season—up 12 percent from last year while UPS will ship 32 million on Cyber Monday alone—a 10 percent year over year increase.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in the companies mentioned.
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