Online sales on December 1 soared by 17 per cent over last year’s Cyber Monday, hitting a record high of US$2.68 billion. This is according to figures from Adobe Systems that were verified by Forrester Research.
The sizeable increase in e-commerce transactions was a silver lining for retailers after Black Friday’s weak sales, but it’s also a testament to the fact that the shopping behaviour of Americans has been changing in recent years. For example, the world’s biggest retailer, Walmart, dubbed Cyber Monday “the biggest online day in its history for orders.”
According to economists, the higher sales on Cyber Monday can be attributed to the improving job market, while falling gas prices across the US are freeing up more cash for other expenses.
“In general, consumers value the web for a few key reasons — it is easy to shop online, one doesn’t have to hunt for parking, web stores are open 24×7 and prices online are often cheaper,” said Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali.
“Those truths ring true even more during the holiday season when shoppers are time-pressed and expect deep discounts.”
The total online sales volume for 2014’s holiday season is expected to climb by 13 per cent over last year’s figure to reach US$89 billion. If this figure pans out, online sales would account for 14 per cent of overall retail spending in the last two months of the year.
Furthermore, a survey revealed that an average of 33 per cent of consumers intend to spend more on internet shopping this year. For clients aged 18 to 34, the proportion goes up to 43 per cent, added Adobe’s Senior Analyst Tyler White.