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How Mobile Was Cyber Monday?

Mobile's share of Cyber Monday online retail traffic hit 41%

December 9, 2014 | Retail & Ecommerce

It’s hard to find a conversation about this past Cyber Monday that doesn’t bring up mobile. Based on IBM’s analysis of data throughout the 24-hour online shopping period, there’s good reason for this. The firm found that 41% of Cyber Monday online retail traffic in the US came from smartphones and tablets, compared with 30.1% in 2013. Though desktop was still the king of sales, mobile boosted its sales share by 27.6% year over year to 22%. In comparison, overall Cyber Monday online sales grew 8.5%.

US Cyber Monday* Retail Ecommerce Metrics, by Device, 2014

Cyber Monday shopping patterns were different among mobile users depending on whether they used a smartphone or tablet. IBM reported that smartphones were for browsing, while tablets were for clicking the “Buy” button. Fully 28.5% of Cyber Monday online traffic came from smartphones—over twice that of tablets. However, tablets accounted for 12.5% of online sales that day, compared with 9.1% for smartphones. This behavior means that average order values were higher on the larger mobile screens—$121.49, compared with $99.61 for smartphones.

While it’s clear that Cyber Monday is becoming more mobile, Black Friday actually beat it’s digital companion here. IBM reported that between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retail mcommerce sales decreased. Monday’s mobile sales and traffic were 21.2% and 17% lower than Friday’s, respectively—meaning desktop still matters a lot for Cyber Monday.

US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce Sales, by Shopping Period, 2013 & 2014 (billions and % change*)

comScore data from last week put US Cyber Monday retail ecommerce sales on home and work desktop computers at $2.04 billion—higher than Thanksgiving Day ($1.01 billion), Black Friday ($1.51 billion) and the holiday weekend ($2.01 billion). But desktop ecommerce sales grew much faster on other special shopping days: 32% on Thanksgiving Day, which saw great success this year, and 26% on both Black Friday and the weekend. Meanwhile, Cyber Monday retail ecommerce sales grew 17%. As much of the pre- and post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy is finally going digital, Cyber Monday is ahead of the pack, with growth shifting to mobile instead.

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