comScore: Cyber Monday rings 16% sales increase over 2009 holiday

Retail Editor 2, December 1, 2010

Reston, Va. - Cyber Monday spending climbed 16% to $1.028 billion, and e-commerce spending for the holiday season-to-date rose 13% to $13.55 billion, said digital marketing intelligence measuring firm comScore.

This represents "the heaviest online spending day in history and the first to surpass the billion-dollar threshold," said comScore.

The results are among the highlights stemming from comScore's report on holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 29 days of the November to December 2010 holiday season.

The report also found that spending on Thanksgiving Day soared 28% to $407 million from last year's $318 million, Black Friday was up more modestly - 9% - to $648 million from $595 million, and spending on the Nov. 27 and 28 weekend posted a 10% increase to $886 million from $805 million.

"The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. "At the same time, it's important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers' heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season. So, while we anticipate that there will be more billion-dollar spending days ahead as we get deeper into the season, only time will tell if overall consumer online spending remains at the elevated levels we've seen thus far."

comScore noted that Cyber Monday's 16% growth in sales was driven primarily by an increase in average spending per buyer - which went up by 12%, while the number of buyers on Cyber Monday grew by only 4% to 9 million. The average spending per transaction grew 10% to $60.05 and the total number of transactions increased 6% to 17.1 million.

Other findings: Nearly half of dollars spent online at U.S. web sites originated from work computers - 48.9%, representing a decline of 3.8 percentage points from last year. Buying from home comprised the majority of the remaining share - 45.4% - while buying at U.S. Web sites from international locations accounted for 5.8% of sales.

"Since its inception, e-commerce activity has been driven heavily by people making online purchases while at work, an effect that is magnified on Cyber Monday as people return to their desks after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend," Fulgoni continued.
"While online shopping from work originally occurred to take advantage of broadband speeds that people lacked at home, it was widely believed that this would decline markedly as home broadband connectivity increased. The fact that spending from work remains so prevalent suggests other explanations. It is more likely that consumers continue to shop from work primarily because by doing so they are able to shop for holiday gifts while minimizing the risk that their children, spouses and significant others might see what Santa will bring."


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