Cyber Monday sales momentum slowed this year

by Lei Xuan

Photo by Lei Xuan
Holiday shoppers didn’t wait until Cyber Monday to shop online.                Photo by Lei Xuan

Cyber Monday has been the biggest online shopping day in the U.S. since 2010, but this year it lost momentum.

Online sales rose 8.5 percent on Monday, compared with a year ago, slower than the 20.6 percent growth from 2012 to 2013, according to a report released by IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark Tuesday. The average order value was down 3.5 percent to $124.2 from $128.7 last year.

Cyber Monday online sales were 30.5 percent higher than Black Friday online sales this year, but Black Friday online shoppers spent an average $129.4 per order, or 4.2 percent higher than Cyber Monday’s average order value.

“As the holiday shopping season becomes less concentrated on a single day,” said Jay Henderson, director of IBM Smarter Commerce, “retailers and marketers took advantage by making it easier for consumers to find the best deals on and go, whenever and whatever they chose to shop.”

Separately, ChannelAdvisor reported that Cyber Monday sales rose 16.7 percent from a year ago, while cyber sales for the five-day holiday weekend were up 20.6 percent.

Sothie Keo, 24, a second-year law student at Northwestern University noticed frequent sales promotions online before Cyber Monday. He said he only bought a sweater online on Thanksgiving night last Thursday.

“I browsed the Monday deals a bit after I got home from school,” Keo said, “and I found that the products that were on discount on Cyber Monday were products that consumers were not interested in.” So he didn’t buy anything.

An earlier survey released by the National Retail Federation showed that the face of Thanksgiving holiday shopping is changing.

“A strengthening economy that changes consumers’ reliance on deep discounts, a highly competitive environment, early promotions and the ability to shop 24/7 online all contributed to the shift,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Another report by comScore measured Cyber Monday e-commerce spending only from desktop computers. The firm said sales reached $2 billion for the first time, a 17 percent increase from last year.