With Black Friday behind us, it’s time to look out for Cyber Monday deals. Jefferson Graham reports for #TalkingTech.
Sean Fujiwara, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Shoppers spent heavily Monday, with analysts calling it a record Cyber Monday.
Digital firm Adobe, which tracks online sales, projected Cyber Monday sales to top off at a record $2.98 billion in sales, up 12% from the previous year, making it the largest online sales day of 2015 for U.S. companies. More sales were driven by mobile phones than ever before, with Walmart.com reporting 70% of its online traffic from smartphones and tablets.
About $11 billion was spent online between Thanksgiving Day and Monday, a 15% increase from last year. The average order was $135.25, according to Adobe. The company predicts that the first 18 days of December will produce $1 billion in sales each.
Although the Monday deals didn’t come close to matching the retail door-busters that saw $400 TVs selling for $150 on Thanksgiving Day, many online retailers have been offering substantial price cuts and free shipping to get folks to buy. Nordstrom had some items at up to 73% off, while K mart went even further, with 80% off on some items. Old Navy had 40% off (with the code Bestcyber) and free shipping, Target offered 15% off and free shipping for most items at Target.com, and Amazon had half-price toys from Hasbro.
Adobe says the best selling tech items of Monday were 4K TVs, followed by the Microsoft Xbox video game console, Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Air 2 and the Sony PlayStation PlayStation 4.
Walmart had different deals through the day, but planned to reprise them at 9 p.m. ET in an “Evening Edition,” to reach the folks who were actually working by day. Walmart deals included a 65-inch LG 4K TV for $799, down from $1,299, and a discounted Apple iPad Mini for $199, down from $267.
Adobe said that 15 of the top 100 products are already out of stock.
That includes popular Star Wars toys like R2D2 Interactive Robotic Droid and action figures from the upcoming film, as well as Star Wars video games for PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One 1TB Fallout 4 Console Bundle.
While mobile accounted for roughly 30% of online shopping for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, by midday, it was as high as 53%, according to Adobe, with 41% from phones and 12% from tablets.
“Most of our predictions have been spot-on, but mobile surprised us,” says Tamara Gaffney, an analyst with Adobe. “It’s much higher than we‘ve ever seen.”
Consumers are using their smartphones to make more purchases — as opposed to prior years, when they spent more time just shopping.
“People have become addicted to their smartphones,” she says. “With the larger screens, they’re easier to see and use.”
The online rush Monday was enough to knock Target’s website down for a short period Monday morning. “So sorry, but high traffic’s causing delays,” a notice on the site read about 10:30 a.m. ET. “If you wouldn’t mind holding, we’ll refresh automatically & get things going ASAP.” The site had been running earlier in the morning and was up again before 11 a.m. ET.
Slightly fewer people were expected to shop online for Cyber Monday, 121.3 million, than last year, when 126.9 million shopped, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated.
More people shopped over the Thanksgiving weekend than expected and that was expected to either stoke the Cyber Monday movement or cut into the buying activity. More than 151 million people shopped from Thursday to Sunday, compared with about 136 million who said they were going to shop, NRF found.
“Shoppers have seen promotions roll out for the past several weeks, but if the price is right on Cyber Monday, they’ll definitely show up ready to spend,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said.
More consumers were likely to be window-shopping on their smartphones and tablets, too. Nearly one-fourth of shoppers (24.4%), or 29.6 million consumers, said they planned to use their mobile device for Cyber Monday shopping, the NRF said.
Of the shopping holiday, Thanksgiving had better deals than Cyber Monday — the average discount was 26% on Thursday, compared with 23% Monday, she says. For Cyber Monday, most of the shopping action tends to happen in late afternoon and early evening.
For online, shopping is not behind us yet. The next two big days are both Mondays — Dec. 7 for last-minute gifts, and Dec. 14, as a last date to get items shipped in time.
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