Online holiday shoppers were busy gobbling up bargains as they returned to work after the Thanksgiving weekend, giving retailers a much-needed boost on Cyber Monday.
Sales rose 19.4 percent compared to last year's Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving Day, notes research firm IBM Coremetrics. comScore reports the day's totals surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time—and far outpaced those of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which rang up $648 million in sales.
The average online order was $194.89, up from $190.80 last year. Jewelers proved to be big winners this year, with jewelry retailers reporting an increase of 60.3 percent during the day, IBM Coremetrics notes.
Deb Messina, owner of OneMark Creations on Auctiva Commerce, definitely noticed the increase in sales.
"Cyber Monday has been very good to me," Messina says. She had already shipped out several packages when Auctiva EDU contacted her Monday morning.
"They're placing orders, and I'm shipping them out," she adds.
An estimated 106.9 million shoppers were expected to buy online Monday, taking advantage of widespread discounts to get an early start on their holiday shopping, according to the National Retail Federation. This was an increase of more than 10 million shoppers compared to last year's Cyber Monday.
About 89.5 percent of shoppers bought items using their computers this year, while 6.9 percent used their mobile devices to find what they needed.
But people were ready to begin shopping even before Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving proved to be a popular shopping day as well, with more than 22 million people making purchases on turkey day. This was double the amount of buyers who headed to the store on Thanksgiving Day in 2005, reports the National Retail Federation.
Black Friday numbers were also encouraging, with sales reaching $648 million. This should make online sellers happy about what's to come, says Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation.
"While Black Friday weekend is not always an indicator of holiday season performance, retailers should be encouraged that a focus on value and discretionary gifts has shoppers in the spirit to spend," he says. "As retailers look ahead to the first few weeks of December, it will be important for them to keep momentum going with savings and incentives that holidays shoppers simply can't pass up."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.