The Economy

Cyber Monday Heading for Record $3B in Sales

The traditional splurge in online shopping follows a historic jump in online sales over the holiday weekend.
Katie Kuehner-HebertNovember 30, 2015
Cyber Monday Heading for Record $3B in Sales

Online shoppers were on pace to spend a record $3 billion on Cyber Monday, reflecting a boom in shopping on mobile devices and continuing a historic weekend for the retail industry.

IBM projected that Cyber Monday online sales would grow by more than 18% compared to 2014, while Adobe Systems said sales had already hit $490 million in the morning. The average online order so far on Monday was $127.56, with 30% of all sales coming from smartphones and tablets, IBM said.

The Cyber Monday shopping spree follows a big jump in web-based sales over the four-day holiday weekend.

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For the first time, a National Retail Federation survey found, more Americans shopped online this weekend (103 million) than in brick-and-mortar stores (102 million).

The Monday following Thanksgiving has been the busiest day for online shopping for most of the past decade. But as Bloomberg reports, the rise of smartphones and speedier home Internet service has led consumers to snag online deals throughout the holiday weekend.

“Retailers — traditional and electronic — are now offering bargains earlier than ever,” Bloomberg noted.

According to IBM, online sales jumped 26% on Saturday and Sunday, compared to 17% over the same weekend in 2014. “Cyber Monday is becoming Cyber Week,”  said Georgetown University marketing professor Marlene Morris Towns told Bloomberg. “We’ll see a less dramatic spike on Cyber Monday.”

Thanksgiving was the fastest-growing online shopping day, with sales rising 25% to a record $1.7 billion. Online spending on Black Friday increased 14% from 2014.

Smartphones accounted for 19% of sales, up 66% from last year, IBM said, while 18% of buys were made on tablets.

Fortune cautioned that “the online bonanza is fueled by deep discounts aimed at fending off, something that could ding profit margins.”

“While the topline is a definite plus, consumers are also out in full-force looking for great offers. That makes Cyber Monday a meek day for margins and that is a challenge for retailers,” said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.