Analyzing Cyber Monday Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were greatly anticipated by merchants and consumers and the results did not disappoint.

Online sales on Cyber Monday reached $1.25 billion according to Internet tracking firm comScore, making it the biggest online spending day in history. Revenues increased 22 percent over last year and the day was marked by a surge in both the number of buyers — up 11 percent — and the average spending per buyer — up 9 percent — over last year. comScore estimates that the average shopper spent $125 and the average transaction amount was $67. IBM Coremetrics, a web analytics firm, reported an even higher average spend: $198. Approximately 10 million people made online purchases on Cyber Monday, according to comScore.

Black Friday saw $816 million in online sales, representing a 26-percent increase over Black Friday 2010, reported comScore.

Mercent, a provider of online channel marketing technology and advertising services for retailers, said that same-seller gross merchandise value for Mercent retail clients participating in Amazon’s “Selling on Amazon” third-party marketplace program grew 35 percent over Cyber Monday 2010. For the first time, more than 50 percent of their Cyber Monday shoppers ordered from work locations.

Small Merchants

GoDaddy, reports that small merchants using its Quick Shopping Cart experienced an 81 percent increase in revenue over a “normal” Monday and a 40 percent increase over Cyber Monday last year. The average Cyber Monday sale this year was over $100 and coupon usage doubled over a typical Monday. GoDaddy primarily serves merchants that have less than $500,000 in annual revenues, with the majority doing less than $100,000 in sales. GoDaddy says that merchants using its cart racked up 350 million transactions over the past 12 months.

Apparel and Health and Beauty Stand Out

According to the “IBM Coremetrics Benchmark Cyber Monday Report,” apparel sales were particularly robust, with Cyber Monday numbers showing an increase of 34 percent over 2010. The average order value increased 11.35 percent, from $128.13 to $141.27. Moreover, health and beauty sales increased 23 percent over Cyber Monday 2010. The average order value increased 22 percent, from $68.30 to $83.47.

Mobile Shopping

More people felt comfortable browsing and buying via mobile devices. On Cyber Monday, 10.8 percent of people used a mobile device to visit an ecommerce site, more than doubling the percent of online shoppers who visited ecommerce sites via their mobile devices in 2010, according to the IBM Coremetrics Benchmark Report. Mobile sales accounted for 6.6 percent of 2011 online revenues versus 2.3 percent in 2010. The most frequently used mobile device was an iPhone. Interestingly, Black Friday showed a higher percentage of mobile traffic — 14.3 percent — than Cyber Monday, perhaps because shoppers were not at their work computers on Friday.

Customer Satisfaction

Foresee, a customer experience analytics firm, found that consumer satisfaction on Cyber Monday was 72.7 on a 100-point scale, lower than it was over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend — 73.3 — and lower than it was last year on Cyber Monday — 73.1. Websites that sell apparel, accessories, and shoes provided the most satisfying experiences for holiday shoppers this year, while websites selling computers, electronics, and mobile phone accessories offered the least satisfying experience, according to Foresee.

What About December?

Gian Fulgoni, comScore’s chairman states, “Looking forward to the balance of the season, it will be very important to continue to monitor the trend in consumer spending to determine the degree to which retailers’ heavy promotional activity at the beginning of the shopping season, and consumers’ encouraging response, has pulled forward consumers’ future buying. When all is said and done, it will also be vital to see whether retailers’ deals and price discounting, which consumers are now able to discover via so many different digital media channels, will have a negative impact on retailers’ margins this holiday season.”

The National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that 60 percent of shoppers plan to take advantage of sales and discounts to make non-gift purchases for themselves and their families during the holiday season. Assuming that non-gift purchases occurred on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there still may be a good deal of holiday gift shopping ahead.


  • Online retail sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were robust across virtually all categories.
  • Shoppers are increasingly doing their shopping from work. Make sure that you have adequate bandwidth and that the purchase can be completed efficiently and quickly as these customers may have limited time to spend.
  • Mobile devices are becoming more important for both gathering information and buying. Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile shopping.
Marcia Kaplan
Marcia Kaplan
Bio   •   RSS Feed