Double-digit growth in online consumer spending so far this holiday season shows that e-commerce is the place to be for investors looking to benefit from online bargain shopping.
Jefferies expects this year's Cyber Monday to generate sales in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.2 billion, and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) to be the prime beneficiaries of growing online spending.
In 2010, Cyber Monday was the heaviest day of online spending ever, with sales exceeding $1 billion. Analysts are expecting 2011 to set a similar record.
Consumers seem to be more willing to spend this holiday season than last, with online spending for the Nov. 1-25 period amounting to a record $12.7 billion, a 14 percent increase from last year, according to comScore.
Online shopping continues to win over millions of Americans, with a record number planning to hit retailers' Web sites on Cyber Monday to take advantage of one-day only deals, percentages off Web sites, and free shipping offers.
While consumers remain value sensitive, they appear to be willing to increase their spending despite the negative macro backdrop, Jefferies analyst Youssef Squali wrote in a note to clients.
According to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGresearch, 122.9 million Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from the 106.9 million who shopped in 2010. Eager to meet consumers' demands, nearly eight in ten (78.4 percent) retailers will have a special promotion for Cyber Monday, according to a survey released last week.
With promotions like flash sales that only last an hour or deep discounts on selected lines, shoppers know they can win big on Cyber Monday, said Vicki Cantrell, Executive Director of Shop.org, In addition to putting the finishing touches on their Web sites, retailers have invested heavily in mobile apps and related content as the appetite for Cyber Monday shopping through smartphones and tablets continues to rise.
The number of shoppers planning to use smartphones or other mobile devices continues to shoot up. In just two years, the number of Americans saying they will use their mobile devices to shop on Cyber Monday has nearly tripled, from just 3.6 million (3.8 percent) in 2009 to 17.8 million (14.5 percent) in 2011. Even compared to figures from last year, the number of people using their mobile devices on Cyber Monday has more than doubled (2010 - 7.3 million and 6.9 percent).
While a majority of Cyber Monday shoppers will make purchases from their home computer, more people will also shop from work this year. A Shop.org survey released last week estimated that nearly 76 million Americans would shop from work at some point during the holiday season.
Shoppers are looking for value this holiday season, and they know they can get it on Cyber Monday, said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch, Consumers have done their research and are ready to make the most of the channels retailers offer this year, whether that's a Web site or a smartphone or tablet device.
While many retailers expect to see sales and traffic spike over lunch hours, Cyber Monday shoppers plan to be online throughout the day. According to the survey, 46.9 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to hit the web early in the morning, with more than a third (38.1 percent) planning to shop in the late morning. Additionally, over a quarter of Cyber Monday shoppers (28.1 percent) will shop in the early evening.
Over the weekend, we collected multiple data points all of which show a healthy start to the holiday season, which if sustained could lead to a 15%+ Y/Y growth in ecommerce growth, and support the valuations of several names in the group including Google, Amazon and eBay, Squali added.
Cyber Monday is viewed as the ceremonial kickoff to the online holiday shopping season, when shoppers flood websites expecting robust promotions and many retailers highlight some of their most compelling holiday offers. It is just the opening salvo in a holiday season that extends from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23. Last year, the first 25 days of November accounted for only about 34 percent of holiday season's sales and about 28 percent of total fourth-quarter sales, implying that the bulk of the season is still ahead.