Digital pure plays and mobile shopping shined on Cyber Monday, but overall the day lost some steam versus a year ago as merchants focused on the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Monday.
Adobe Digital reported Tuesday that online shopping for Cyber Monday set a new record — hitting $2.29 billion, a 16 percent year-over-year increase from 2012, with 18.3 percent of sales, or $419 million, coming from mobile. Pure-play e-tailers came out on top, taking a 42 percent share of all online sales for the day. Retailers overall raked in an estimated 10 percent of their holiday sales during the five-day stretch, with total e-commerce sales of $7.4 billion — up 26 percent year over year.
IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark reported that sales were up 20.6 percent from 2012 — that’s solid growth in a total retail market that is seeing single-digit gains. Mobile sales were responsible for more than 17 percent of overall sales.
According to Custora Pulse, one in three purchases were completed on a mobile device on Monday, including smartphones and tablets. Even though Apple still dominates e-commerce orders — its devices powered 80 percent of mobile orders on Cyber Monday — Android devices were responsible for 20 percent of transactions, up from 13 percent last year. Custora Pulse reported that social commerce — sales resulting from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram — were responsible for less than 1 percent of e-commerce sales Monday. From Thursday through Monday, Adobe said that social referral traffic influenced 2 percent of sales, or $148 million.
Sales for Cyber Monday peaked between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. EST, a welcome spike in activity after an afternoon that seemed a “little soft,” according to Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. By the end of the day, retailers were seeing 20 percent to 50 percent growth from last year — a sharp increase from percentages in the high teens that were observed earlier in the day.
Despite industry sentiments that sales occurring earlier and earlier are diminishing the significance of Cyber Monday, she doesn’t believe this is the case.
“Cyber Monday hasn’t plateaued yet; it still has a few good years ahead,” Mulpuru said.
She said the days leading up to shipping deadlines will also see strong sales growth, and the week after Christmas will slow down for e-tailers because they don’t have the “inventory glut that stores have.”
Michael Brown, partner in the retail practice of global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, agreed. Late shipping deadlines from e-tailers like Amazon will help when it comes to securing last-minute sales.
Amazon will offer one-day shipping as low as $2.99 an item for Amazon Prime members as late as midnight on Dec. 23 and local express delivery for $3.99 an item on Dec. 24 where available. Amazon’s local delivery is available in New York City, parts of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Seattle and the San Bernadino area of California.
However, Brown doesn’t think that Amazon’s deal with the U.S. Postal Service — which for the first time will deliver online orders on Sunday to Amazon Prime members in Los Angeles and New York City — will have much of an impact on the online behemoth or its competitors.
“Amazon’s deal with the Post Office will continue to add to their ability to rapidly fulfill consumers’ e-commerce purchases faster than most other retailers. With Christmas being on a Wednesday this year, Sunday won’t be too big of a deal,” Brown said. “In 2017, when Christmas falls on a Monday, Sunday delivery will be huge.”
The real advantage for Amazon will come from its swift logistics network, which has a later cut-off date for guaranteed delivery by Christmas. It’s this — and not necessarily Sunday delivery — that will give Amazon an edge over competitors, he said.
Nasty Gal’s vice president of brand marketing Christian Parkes said that the biggest shift at the e-tailer was a focus on the entire period from Thanksgiving through Monday, and not just Cyber Monday. For the first time, the site launched a two-day Thanksgiving and Black Friday “Blackout” sale, where everything black on the site was 40 percent off. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, all full-priced merchandise on the site was 30 percent off. He said that Cyber Monday was the biggest day of the year sales-wise.
Across the entire five-day period Nastygal.com saw “really healthy” double-digit growth, with triple-digit growth for Thursday and Friday. The number of unique visitors was up 30 percent and total visitors were up nearly 50 percent year on year.
“From a consumer standpoint, there’s an appetite that extends outside of that single-day period [Cyber Monday],” Parkes said.
Gilt Groupe, which on Monday reported that sales from Wednesday through Saturday were up more than 40 percent year over year, said that the five-day period — including Sunday and Cyber Monday — was up more than 45 percent from 2012.
This year, the flash-sale site started its Cyber Monday sales on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST to cater to an increasingly international audience, according to Michelle Peluso, Gilt Groupe’s chief executive officer. Although it makes it harder to compare sales to last year, which kicked off the morning of Cyber Monday, Peluso was keen on testing this time slot with global shoppers. Currently, about 10 percent of the site’s sales come from outside the U.S., with another 10 percent coming from Gilt’s joint venture with Japan. (The site is translated into Japanese.)
Mobile sales from Thursday to Saturday comprised more than 50 percent of Gilt’s overall business, but this number dropped slightly to 48 percent from Thursday to Monday. Peluso attributed the dip in mobile activity to consumers returning to work after the holiday weekend and shopping at their desks.
But the pure-play retailers by no means had Cyber Monday to themselves.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is working to integrate its Web operations and physical stores, seemed gleeful after the online shopping rush.
“We had an all-time record sales day yesterday as the momentum we saw on Thanksgiving carried through to Cyber Monday,” said Joel Anderson, president and ceo of walmart.com U.S., on Tuesday.
The company said the period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday marked the best five-day stretch in online sales for the retailer ever. Walmart.com processed more than one billion page views over the five days.
In general, though, multichannel retailers reported that Cyber Monday sales were very good but not the blockbusters of recent years. They attributed the change to consumers drawn to shopping earlier as both multichannel and pure plays promoted more heavily this year earlier in the season. There was also a greater tendency by consumers to use the Web to research and reserve products in the stores, and visit the stores to actually make the purchase and take the products home.
As far as the overall four-day Thanksgiving period, Susan Davidson, ceo of Scoop, cited a 200 percent gain, largely because the retailer earlier this year redesigned its Web site and changed the platform. “We’re fully reaping the benefits. We are very, very pleased with our investment in the back-end and the redesign.”
However, the business wasn’t distributed evenly through the Thanksgiving-through-Cyber-Monday-period. As Davidson said, “Cyber Monday was not as strong as Thursday and Friday. We didn’t see the same spike. The highest demand day was Friday.”
She attributed the outcome online for the past few days to consumers shopping earlier, encouraged by widespread promoting, and Scoop ramping up its communications last Thursday and Friday. Online bestsellers for Scoop were footwear, particularly boots; leather jackets; cashmere sweaters; men’s outerwear, and higher-priced items generally, according to Davidson.
One department store executive, who requested anonymity, gave a similar assessment.
“It’s my guess that Cyber Monday was a good day for everyone” though not a magnificent one. “I don’t think that’s surprising. Promoting online may have been spread out over time up to Cyber Monday, like everything else. I think it will be less promotional online from here on. But the tone of the business feels good.”
In terms of product and promoting, the experience online and in the stores was inconsistent through last Monday “with different kinds of promotions and different products,” said the executive.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye