A total of almost $1.25 billion was spent on Cyber Monday in 2011. That was nearly 12% of all the money spent by November online shoppers… in one day.
Cyber Monday - A Gimmick That Stuck
Cyber Monday - the first Monday back at work after the Thanksgiving Holiday - has become as important to the holiday shopping season as Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving - has traditionally been. This year, mobile shoppers are expected to increasingly turn to their smartphones and tablets to hunt for deals, make purchases and generally inform their shopping decisions.
In 2011, 12% of shoppers visited a website from their mobile devices, of which 6.7% made a purchase, double the rate from 2010. The average mobile shopper (42%) is between the ages of 25 and 44, with men spending more money than women from their mobile devices ($312 to $222, respectively).
Cyber Monday was started in 2005 by Shop.org as a gimmick to get people to shop online the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend. The name has stuck and become a tradition that has spanned the globe.
A lion’s share of those mobile purchases were made from iPads. It is reasonable to assume that tablets are better vehicles for digital shoppers as the ability to visit full screen websites that are not necessarily applications or mobile optimized pages makes it easier for mobile shoppers to hunt down exactly the items they are looking for.
Show-Rooming Is Zooming
But this year, the notion of “show-rooming” will likely be increasingly popular, which may boost the smartphone's influence. Show-rooming is the practice of going to a brick-and-mortar retail store and perusing goods - but then checking the prices of items with a mobile device and buying online if you can find a better price.
In many ways, what was once a niche market segment has now become mainstream behavior. This year we are not likely to see many new trends (where behavior is fundamentally altered by smartphones and tablets) but what we will see is that the sheer volume of people taking advantage of existing trends and behaviors increase as more and more users get comfortable checking their apps and websites looking for discounts and making purchases. We're likely to see more people than ever use services and technologies like Square, PayPal mobile, NFC (Google Wallet etc.), Dwolla and LevelUp.
This holiday season will not be the coming out party for mobile payments and purchases, we're past that. Instead, it'll be a confirmation that those behaviors are now mainstream.
Check out this HSN infographic on the history of Cyber Monday and how mobile usage has increased since its founding: