Online retail sales on Cyber Monday 2011 hit record highs and jumped 33 percent compared to the same day last year, according to a report from IBM Coremetrics.
The value of an average order also rose from $193.24 to $198.26 -- 2.6 percent -- on Cyber Monday. IBM tracked trends until midnight PT, on Tuesday morning.
The Cyber Monday record follows a trend of record online retail sales on Thanksgiving Day that led to a record Black Friday in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. It was driven by different, developing trends in online shopping.
Cyber Monday was once again the big winner for the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, with a record number of consumers focused on finding the best online deals, said John Squire, chief strategy officer of IBM Smarter Commerce.
Squire said in a phone interview with IBTimes Tuesday morning that he was surprised at the results, after IBM Coremetrics had forecasted a jump of 20 percent coming out of Black Friday's record sales.
IBM Coremetrics revealed several interesting trends from Cyber Monday in its report. It said online shopping peaked at 2:05 p.m. ET., but Squire said customers adopted different buying patterns than what's typical for Cyber Monday.
The strongest consistent hours came from customers before they headed to work early in the morning and after they returned home in the evening. That marked a shift from the traditional at-work spending seen since 2005, when the term Cyber Monday was coined by Shop.org, which is part of the National Retail Federation.
The reason for the shift? Improved and even more technology that consumers can access nearly around the clock. More Americans have access to high-speed internet, as well as iPhone, iPad and Android devices that simplify shopping on the go.
I think consumers have access to online retail at their fingertips wherever they go, Squire said. Most customers are very measured now in what they're going to buy and when they're going to buy it.
Another dramatic increase came in the area of mobile traffic and mobile sales. On Cyber Monday, 10.8 percent of people explored a retailer's site, leaping from just 3.9 percent last year. And mobile sales rose to 6.6 percent on Cyber Monday, compared with 2.3 percent in 2010.
But mobile sales actually disappointed IBM Coremetric's forecasts. Squire said IBM expected mobile transactions would make up 12 to 15 percent of all online shopping on Cyber Monday. Still, retailers were able to benefit from multiple methods of customer shopping.
Retailers that adopted a smarter approach to commerce, one that allowed them to swiftly adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile device, were able to fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend, Squire said.
Squire said in the mobile arena, Apple grabbed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots with 70 percent of all online transactions. He said IBM will continue to monitor whether Android devices are able to compete this holiday season. Sales on BlackBerry devices also accounted for 0.3 percent, which was a relative surprise.
It's the first time we've seen any appreciable sales from BlackBerry over the last five days, Squire said.
The Cyber Monday news comes after a record Black Friday in which shoppers spent a record $11.4 billion, according to Chicago-based research group ShopperTrak. That marked a 6.6 percent increase from 2010, while foot traffic also rose 5.1 percent in shopping malls.
According to IBM Coremetrics, online Black Friday sales also jumped 24.3 percent, including a 59 percent leap in department-store online sales. The NRF said that over the four days beginning on Thanksgiving, sales jumped 16.4 percent.
Consumers have endured enough bad news with housing markets and jobless rates and the sketchy economy both here and abroad, and the holiday season is something they can participate in, ShooperTrak founder Bill Martin told IBTimes in a phone interview on Saturday. And they don't have to participate in it at a crazy level. But if everyone participates in some way, then the numbers add up pretty quickly.
Major retailers will report November sales on Thursday.