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Retailers give thanks for Cyber Week


Despite a few hiccups with site availability, Cyber Week 2015 on the whole was a huge success for the retail industry and bodes well for the remainder of the holiday season.

According to data from Adobe, from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, consumers spent $11 billion online. This marked a 15% increase from Cyber Week in 2014 and represented 30% of a total $39.5 billion in November online sales. Adobe predicts consumers will spend $1 billion a day online every day from Dec. 1- Dec. 18.

Verizon Retail Index data indicates that the concept of “Cyber Week” is very much a reality, with consumers spreading their digital shopping more evenly through the five-day period. Verizon found that broadband traffic attributed to e-commerce shopping activities between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year was up 18 percentage points (Saturday) and 21 percentage points (Sunday) from normal daily volumes.

Average daily mobile traffic attributed to mobile commerce during the holiday weekend was in line with Black Friday traffic on Saturday, Nov. 28, which saw a 6% increase, yet dipped on Sunday, Nov. 29 to pre-holiday traffic volumes. Interestingly, broadband traffic attributed to e-commerce shopping activities on Cyber Monday dipped dramatically from Sunday, Nov. 29 and was actually three percentage points below average daily volumes, which was a similar trend in 2014.

Mobile traffic that Verizon attributed to online shopping was also down on Cyber Monday and was one percentage point below average daily traffic volumes. Year-over-year, average daily traffic for e-commerce remained relatively consistent, with mobile commerce activity slightly lower during the same time period.

Although individual products offered for discount by major retailers differed significantly day by day, analysis by Clavis Insight indicates promoted categories remained fairly consistent. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon, and all focused promotions on the top categories of clothing, shoes and jewelry, electronics, home & kitchen, sports, fitness & outdoors, and toys & games. followed a similar pattern, replacing home & kitchen with appliances. The order in which these categories were promoted varied by day and by retailer.

However, deviated from this norm a bit with its top five promotional categories of clothing, shoes & jewelry, home & kitchen, baby, appliances, and beauty. focused much more strongly on clothing, shoes and jewelry than the other major retailers profiled.

And finally, it has already been publicized that retailers including Neiman Marcus, Walmart and Target experienced varying degrees of difficulty in maintaining e-commerce site functionality at different times during Cyber Week. However, this did not necessarily negate profit opportunities.

For example, Target had to deny site access to different groups of consumers for periods of time on Cyber Monday to avoid a total crash. Yet Target, which offered 15% discounts on almost all online items, still reported its biggest online sales day ever.

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