Cyber Monday and Black Friday experience sales sprawl

Retailers offer earlier promotions online
Retailers offer earlier promotions online

Early promotions shift onus from spending on the biggest shopping days

Cyber Monday saw a modest increase in sales, as early promotions over the Thanksgiving weekend alleviated the pressure for bargain hunters to spend on the Internet's busiest shopping day.

Cyber Monday sales growth in the U.S. was lower than expected, at 8.5 percent for the 24-hour period ending on Monday, according to data from IBM Digital Analytics. The average order value was $124.21, down 3.5 percent year over year. 

While these figures do not take into account shoppers after the working day, the 2014 rise in sales is lower than last year’s, which was 20.6 percent according to IBM.

With many retailers offering discounts and promotions earlier this year — and promising to continue to do so throughout the holiday season — shoppers no longer need to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the biggest discounts, leading to a shopping trend dubbed  "Cyber Month" or "Black Friday Sprawl."

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, overall online sales increased 12.6 percent, with mobile sales up 27.2 percent, compared with the same period in 2013, according to IBM.

"For the first time, mobile devices drove more than half of Thanksgiving online traffic, a trend that continued throughout Cyber Week," Jay Henderson, director, IBM Smarter Commerce, said in a statement. 

"As the holiday shopping season becomes less concentrated on a single day, retailers and marketers took advantage by making it easier for consumers to find the best deals on the go, whenever and wherever they chose to shop," he said. 

Adobe’s 2014 Digital Index Online Shopping data, shows more-promising Cyber Monday sales of $2.65 billion, an increase of 16 percent compared with 2013.

Early discounting and anticipation for online deals funneled some of the heat from Black Friday this year. According to the National Retail Federation, 5.1 million fewer people were out shopping on Black Friday than last year, a decline of about 7 percent.

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