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Record number of Cyber Monday shoppers boost sales 33%, IBM says

November 30, 2011|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

Cyber Monday deals attracted a record number of online shoppers, leading to a 33% jump in U.S. sales compared with the Monday after Thanksgiving last year, according to an IBM report.

Consumers spent an average of 2.6% more this year on Cyber Monday than on the same day in 2010, with the average value of an online order rising from $193.24 to a record $198.26, according to IBM's fourth annual Cyber Monday Benchmark study.

The number of Cyber Monday shoppers who made purchases on their smartphones and tablets also increased, the study said. A record 10.8% of people visited a retailer's site on a mobile device, up from 3.9% in 2010. Mobile sales grew to 6.6% of this year's Cyber Monday purchases, up from 2.3% a year earlier, IBM said.

"Consumers flocked online, with shopping momentum hitting its highest peak at 11:05 [a.m. PST]," IBM said in a statement. "Consumer shopping also maintained strong momentum after commuting hours on both the East and West coast."

IBM's study did not include an estimate of the total number of shoppers on Cyber Monday or how much they spent. IBM, a tech firm that sells software and consulting services to businesses, produces its Cyber Monday shopping report by "analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide," the company said.

"Retailers that adopted a smarter approach to commerce, one that allowed them to swiftly adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile device, were able to fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend," John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM Coremetrics, said in a statement.

How did Cyber Monday compare with Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving? IBM said that Cyber Monday brought in 29.3% more online sales than on Black Friday, when many shoppers were in bricks-and-mortar stores and not online.

According to other reports, Black Friday also set sales records.

Most people who shopped online with a mobile device on Cyber Monday and Black Friday did so using Apple devices. Such devices "continued to rank one and two for mobile device retail traffic," with 4.1% of shopper Web-surfing occurring on the iPhone and 3.3% on the iPad, IBM said.

Android devices came in third with a solid 3.2% of Cyber Monday and Black Friday online shopping traffic, the report said.

"Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 5.2% compared to 4.6%," on other devices, IBM said.

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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