Cyber Monday online shopping spending reached record levels
on Nov. 26, jumping 30.3% over 2011 according to the IBM Digital Analytics
Benchmark, which tracks transactions at around 500 U.S. retailers.
The report also highlighted a notable spike in the usage of
mobile devices for online shopping. More than 18% of consumers used a mobile
device to visit a retailer's site and mobile sales hit nearly 13%, a 96% jump
from 2011, according to IBM.
Tablets were particularly important, with the iPad
accounting for over 7% of online traffic, more than any other tablet or smartphone,
followed by iPhones (6.9%) and Android devices (4.5%), the IBM data showed.
Social media, however, played a less important role. IBM reported
that shoppers referred from social media networks accounted for only 0.41% of
sales, down 26% from 2011.
Those figures bolstered other very positive reports of
Thanksgiving weekend sales.
Earlier the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that some
247 million shoppers visited retail stores and websites, spending some $59.1
billion over the Black Friday weekend.
The NRF also released data from a survey conducted for
Shop.org by BIGinsight prior to Cyber Monday that predicted some 128.2 million
people planned to shop online during Cyber Monday, up from 122.8 million in
2011 and 106.9 million in 2010.
This survey, which was conducted on Nov. 23 and 24, also
found much higher use of mobile devices for shopping, with 20.8% reporting they
planned to search for deals on Cyber Monday with their mobile devices.
The strong sales bode well for the overall health of the
economy and consumer sentiment, which is still the main driver of economic
growth in the U.S.
The figures are good news for broadcasters who have been
expanding their digital distribution efforts as the booming sales of tablets
and other consumer electronic devices will expand the number of people who can
access video on the go.
No detailed breakdowns of sales by category were available
for Cyber Monday sales but Amazon announced record sales of its Kindle tablets,
Reuters has reported.
The NRF also reported heavy interest in electronics goods
over the Thanksgiving weekend, with 33.0% reporting shopping at an electronics
stores. Among the consumers who were looking for gifts, 37.7% said they
acquired electronics and 39.8% acquired books, CDs, DVDs or video games.
Networks that are planning to expand their e-commerce
efforts on second screen apps will also be encouraged by the dramatic growth in
mobile devices to buy consumer goods.
But the trend towards strong online isn't necessarily good
news in the long run for stations and other programmers that rely on local
advertising from the brick and mortar stores that have been steadily losing
market share to online retailers. That shift in buying habits has already hurt
the bottom line at major advertisers like Best Buy.