NEW YORK — Cyber Monday was a record breaking day for online shopping, taking in $1.46 billion, according to ComScore.
This story first appeared in the November 29, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In data released Wednesday by the firm, the 17 percent increase in e-commerce for the day year-over-year made it the heaviest online spending day to date. Cyber Monday was also the second time this holiday season that online sales topped $1 billion (Black Friday was the first).
But sales for the day failed to reach some industry projections. While ComScore predicted on Monday that the day would see $1.5 billion in sales, IBM Corp. released data on Tuesday that showed business for Cyber Monday increased by 30.3 percent from last year, nearly 80 percent more than the increase reported by ComScore.
Research by Chase Holiday Pulse, the arm of Chase Paymentech dedicated to tracking holiday shopping, showed that Cyber Monday saw a more modest 22 percent increase in sales year-over-year.
According to Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, who believes the discrepancy could be attributed to several factors, the consistent theme for the day was double-digit growth.
She drew a contrast between IBM, Chase and ComScore’s methodologies for gathering data. IBM and Chase use actual sales data from retailers, and ComScore uses panel research.
“The challenge with ComScore is that it’s all panel data so it has a bunch of self-selected people to see whether or not they purchase,” Mulpuru explained Wednesday, noting that not everyone purchases and it’s common to over- or under-index. “I don’t know how or if ComScore is adjusting for mobile sales or if they have accounted for all of the different devices.”
Although its figures are based on actual sales data from retailers, IBM doesn’t include every retailer, she said.
Mulpuru’s estimate for Cyber Monday growth is in the “high teens to low 20s percent,” putting sales for the day at just about $1.5 billion.