Cyber Monday was one for the record books. U.S. shoppers spent nearly $3 billion through digital channels, making it the single largest online sales day in history, according to Adobe, and continuing a string of firsts this holiday season. Adobe’s annual tracking shows a 12 percent increase in spending over 2014, while IBM’s yearly Cyber Monday Report recorded an 18 percent rise (unlike Adobe, IBM does not track dollar sales amounts).
Overall Cyber Monday average order value (AOV) declined by just less than one percent, to $123.43, IBM found, lower than the Black Friday average of $127.84. Adobe similarly registered a $4 drop in AOV from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, from $137 to $133, well off the Thanksgiving high of $162. That’s not altogether surprising given that consumers indicated in multiple surveys that they were spreading out their shopping over a broader span in November and December, rather than concentrating it on a single day or handful of days. Also, because Cyber Monday is so associated with deals, that likely had a hand in lowering the AOV relative to the holiday weekend.
Mobile continued to display momentum in driving website traffic and sales. By Adobe’s count, it represented 49 percent of shopping visits (with smartphones outpacing tablets by a margin of more than three to one) and 28 percent of online sales (with smartphones retaining a smaller edge over tablets). In total, mobile accounted for $514 million in sales.
IBM also registered strong growth for mobile activity relative to 2014, particularly when it comes to smartphones, which surged past tablets in sales. The share of traffic and sales attributed to tablets actually declined year-over-year, indicating that tablet usage is more confined to the home, while consumers turn to their smartphones at home, work, and in-between. On the other hand, consumers spent more per order on tablets than smartphones, following the pattern IBM detected on Black Friday.
Still, with most Americans returning to work after the holiday, shopping was more desktop-centric than on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. PCs regained the lead in web traffic and accounted for a larger share of sales (72 percent vs. 64 percent on Black Friday).
Cyber Monday also proved an off-the-charts day for email. It was busiest send day in Constant Contact’s history, with customers transmitting more than 375 million emails, topping last year’s record-breaking number by more than 10 million. The biggest percentage increase in email traffic over the holiday week came on Small Business Saturday, up 14 percent. Perhaps not coincidentally, spending among U.S. consumers aware of Small Business Saturday was up an analogous 14 percent, totaling $16.2 billion at independent retailers and restaurants, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. Retailers, not surprisingly, topped the list of senders, accounting for more than one-fifth of emails sent on Monday, and over 26 percent on Small Business Saturday.
Following web traffic and spending patterns witnessed by both Adobe and IBM, email opens on mobile peaked on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, when shoppers were either at home or preparing to head out to stores. Cyber Monday saw the highest percentage of opens on PCs, suggesting there’s still some life in the eponymously named shopping holiday.
Looking at trend data from the past five years clearly indicates mobile will overtake the desktop on Cyber Monday, possibly in web traffic as early as next year. Sales, however, will be a steeper hill to climb. Cyber Monday eventually will become “Mobile Monday” — or what’s looking more specifically like “Smartphone Monday” — but we’re not there yet.
Noah Elkin is Street Fight’s managing editor.