The online rush for holiday gifts has broken multiple records. Three days during Cyber Week exceeded $1 billion in U.S. spend, and the week on the whole saw $5.959 billion in spending – a 15 perent increase from 2010's Cyber Week spending.
Record-Breaking Holiday Sales
Cyber Week, which starts with "Cyber Monday" – the day after Thanksgiving weekend – saw phenomenal figures this year. The $5.959 billion represents a $795 million increase from Cyber Week of 2010. The week started with a major record being broken; Cyber Monday hit $1.25 billion in online sales. That's 22 percent higher than last year, and a new record for the highest day in online spending ever.
Tuesday the 29th came in a close second, however, at $1.12 billion. Wednesday also broke past the $1 billion point, at $1.03 billion. Monday through Wednesday of this year now make up "three of the four heaviest spending days in history," notes comScore.
As we reported on previously, holiday shoppers got started early, with 2011's shoppers buying 18 percent more year-over-year in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Black Friday itself saw an even bigger increase; online shopper spent 26 percent more this year, for $816 million total the day after Thanksgiving. The season on the whole demonstrated 15 percent higher revenue compared to the same timeframe last year.
Mobile Shopping on the Rise
During Cyber Week and well before, users got on their phones and tablets to research the best deals in their area. However, they also delved into actually buying products online directly from their mobile device. Sales on mobile devices accounted for 9.8 percent of spend on Black Friday, and those trends have continued – hitting 10.6 percent on Cyber Monday.
Check out more information on how people bought during Cyber Week.
Free Shipping: A Holiday Mandate?
According to comScore, 64.4 percent of all online transactions had free shipping during Thanksgiving week itself, while 63.2 percent had free shipping during Cyber Week. That's a 9.4 percent and 11 percent increase, respectively, looking at year-over-year statistics.
ComScore investigated the importance of free shipping for shoppers. More than a third (36 percent) said that they wouldn't make a purchase without free shipping, while 42 percent more said that they actively seek out deals that give free shipping. Just 15 percent said that they didn't care about free shipping.
ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni stated, "Free shipping is one of the most important incentives that online retailers must provide during the holiday season to ensure that shoppers will convert into buyers. Consumers have come to expect free shipping during the holiday promotion periods[.]"
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