For 2013, the holiday shopping season kicked off with the e-commerce sector netting more than $2 billion. Online sales on Black Friday just missed the mark at $1.93 billion, while Cyber Monday blew past it at $2.29 billion. From Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday — the five consecutive online shopping days now called Cyber Five — purchases made from desktops, tablets, and smartphones broke one record after the other as online sales reached $7.4 billion, a staggering 26 percent year-to-year increase from 2012.
In previous years, the e-commerce kick-off began with the rest of retail businesses in the wee hours of Black Friday. However, this year — in between dressing birds and watching football games — customers were busy on their tablets and smartphones snapping up deals at arm’s length. In 2013, for the first time ever, Thanksgiving became a billion-dollar online shopping day — $1.062 billion to be exact. Online shopping data shows that mobile devices (at 20.9 percent) were a huge reason for this shift.
Although it may have once been considered rude to flip open a laptop after turkey dinner and do some holiday shopping, the sales numbers this year are evidence that a trend known as couch commerce was the instigating factor for the holiday sales boost, in combination with mobile access. Thanksgiving day alone showed a 73.6 percent increase in sales from tablets and a 50.7 percent increase from smartphones when compared to last year’s Thanksgiving. Apple’s iPad topped tablet sales (at $130 million), and chances are iPad users were buying something from Amazon or eBay as both companies led the pack with online sales. Brick-and-mortar stores were also able to reap couch commerce benefits, as stores like Walmart and Target expanded their budgets in order to update mobile devices, which paid off before their doors were even open to Black Friday shoppers.
On the topic of Black Friday, omnishop was the word of that infamous day. In addition to dollars spent mobile-optimizing websites and updating apps, retailers spent money this year adding WI-FI t to their store locations. A smart move that fosters multitasking — or omnishopping. Customers wait in line, pending purchases in one hand, while the other is occupied by a smartphone and taking advantage of online deals. This year mobile device traffic rose 34 percent over last year, taking credit for nearly 40 percent of online traffic.Even the 66.1 million customers, who weren’t in-store a device in hand, spent nearly $1.2 million from their desktops. Online shopping sales peaked at $150 million between the hours of 11 a.m. to noon, and by November 29, total e-commerce sales had reached $20.6 billion (nearly one billion from Thanksgiving Day alone — a 21 percent climb from last year), up 15 percent from last year’s November 1 to Black Friday dates. Several online reports note that with holiday timing (Hanukkah began last week and Thanksgiving fell on November 27) this year earned a few extra shopping days when compared to the previous years.
Throughout the weekend, online-only and brick-and-mortar stores continued their push to drive online sales, and despite the 2013 weekend total dip in in-store sales (3 percent down from last year), ultimately, e-commerce sales soared. As Black Friday’s online deals spilled over into Saturday, other online stores used Sunday to get a jump on driving consumers to take part in their Cyber Monday savings.
On Cyber Monday, the 2013 e-commerce holiday shopping season sales reached $2.29 billion, yet another internet sales record breaker. Customers are finding it increasingly easier to do their holiday gift buying from the convenience of their desk — from work — on the first full work day after Thanksgiving.However, desktop sales did not stop anyone from pulling out their mobile devices, as December 2 online shopping data shows an overall 16 percent year-to-year increase, with over 18 percent of total sales coming from tablets and smartphones. This is an astounding 80 percent increase from last year’s mobile device sales, and out of the $419 million mobile dollars, 12.7 percent came from tablets (iPads carried the lion’s share at 10 percent and Droids at 1 percent).
Continuing its first place streak from the Cyber Five, Amazon led online purchase and experienced yet another leap in sales growth from last year — 46 percent — on Cyber Monday. eBay and Groupon didn’t trail far behind, each around 30 percent sales growth. And Walmart reported Cyber Monday 2013 as its biggest online sales day ever.
As Amazon and eBay continue to thrive, and as brick-and-mortar stores continue to adapt and upgrade their websites (and stores) to accommodate mobile devices, it becomes increasingly easier for consumers to purchase online. As trends such as couch commerce and omnishopping persist, e-commerce made a huge jump in changing the way customers shop during the Cyber Five.
Watching football? One to two clicks and a dad just bought his son that jersey. Just put the pie in the oven — wasn’t it Target that had those dishes for the niece’s new apartment? Don’t want to trek from Ann Taylor to Best Buy? No worries, Amazon sells Sony PS4s. Scroll. Click. Done. It’s no wonder 2013’s holiday wish lists are manifesting in the form of emails with links, rather than handwritten words on notepaper.
And just for kicks, here are Five Fun Facts about the Cyber Five of 2013:
• Thanksgiving Day saw a 91 percent increase in global consumers using PayPal mobile compared to Thanksgiving Day 2012.
• Facebook drove 64 percent of the 2 percent of online sales referred by social media sites.
• Across the board, iPads were the year’s most popular electronic purchase; however, 40 percent of those purchases were made my Droid smartphone users.
• Behold the most popular tweet on Cyber Monday — and don’t be surprised.
• New Yorkers spent the most online during the Cyber Five, followed by residents of Washington D.C.