Seven years after it was first dubbed Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, this year set a record as the biggest online shopping day in history.
Consumers clicked their way to $1.465 billion in purchases on Monday, making it the second day this season to exceed $1 billion in online sales. Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – also saw more than a billion dollars in online commerce.
Cyber Monday coined in 2005
In 2005, Shop.org dubbed the Monday after Thanksgiving Cyber Monday in an attempt to capitalize on the spike in online spending that was being seen as workers returned to their office computers. For the first several years, Cyber Monday didn’t live up to its own hype, barely cracking the top ten spending days of the holiday season, according to ComScore’s Gian Fulgoni.
The last two years, Cyber Monday seems to have finally gained a firm foothold. The day was the biggest online spending day last year as well as this year. Retailers offered their best deals on Monday and marketed them heavily, priming consumers to fill up online shopping carts and click “submit payment” at a record rate. Viral marketing through social networks may have played a role in the stampede of shoppers who helped push spending to record numbers.
Shopping from work
On a day when many people returned to work after a long holiday weekend, a good number of those people spent part of their first day back surfing retail sites. ComScore, a digital commerce tracking firm, reported that 47.1% of purchases on Monday were made from work computers. Another 47.1% came from people shopping from home, and international shoppers accounted for the remaining 5.7% of purchases at U.S. websites.
Digital content dominates
The most popular items among consumers were digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics including smartphones, and computer hardware including tablets. Video games and accessories, as well as jewelry and watches, filled out the top five shopping categories.
To date, online holiday spending has reached $16.4 billion – up 17% from last year, according to ComScore.