Cyber Monday Traffic up, Spending Down

The figures are in. E-commerce sales grew 5% on Cyber Monday, compared with Cyber Monday 2008, reaching $887 million. Cyber Monday 2009 even managed to match 2008's single biggest e-commerce shopping day, December 9th.

What does this mean for you?

Cyber Monday--the first Monday after Thanksgiving--sales grew 5-percent versus a year ago. The growth was driven primarily by an increase in the number of buyers, reflecting consumers' increasing familiarity and comfort with online buying, while average spending per buyer was down slightly. Specifically, the number of online buyers grew 6 percent to 8.7 million, while the average dollars spent per buyer declined 2 percent to $102.19 (the first decline in the history of Cyber Monday).

As buyers become pickier and more sophisticated about online shopping, their expectations have increased. They are looking for modern, robust sites that make online shopping easy while still maintaining the advantages of in-store shopping. This includes easily browsing large quantities of merchandise, easy search and sorting, easily viewing large and detailed images, and social media tools to share products with friends. It is more important than ever to make sure your e-commerce site is up to par.

Is Black Friday the new Cyber Monday? That's a question the New York Times asked in a blog post pointing out that while Cyber Monday sales increase 5% this year year, in 2008 they were up 15%. Meanwhile, Black Friday sales on the Web increased 11 percent this year, compared to 1 percent last year. The point is, e-commerce is the future of growth in retail and is cutting into traditional brick-and-mortar territory across the board.

Online shopping still has room to grow as a portion of total retail. This holiday season, people will spend $30 billion online and $438 billion offline, according to eMarketer and the National Retail Federation. But online spending is expected to increase 5.4 percent while offline spending is expected to decline 1 percent. It's not too late to start or upgrade your e-commerce site.

More people are shopping online than ever before. Sixty-nine percent of adult Internet users plan to make a holiday purchase online this year, compared to 55 percent in 2008 and 49 percent in 2007, according to Shop.org.

"Consumers are still obviously cash-strapped," notes comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, yet "every year there are more people that take to e-commerce." How is your company reacting to the e-commerce revolution? Blue Fountain Media is a full-service e-commerce website design, development, and marketing firm based in New York City. Our core strengths are customization, quick turn-around, and direct communication with our clients. Contact us to find out more.

Data courtesy of comScore Inc.

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