Week in Review: Cyber Weekend Hits On All Cylinders

With Cyber Weekend 2015 officially in the books, ecommerce merchants should be encouraged with the results as a harbinger of the rest of the holiday shopping season, as more consumers grow comfortable with the practice and see it as an assumed part of their holiday routine. comScore reported consumers spent $3.1 billion online on Cyber Monday alone, marking the first time that milestone had been passed in a single day.

First off, IBM said ecommerce sales for Thanksgiving were up 26% over the same day in 2014, with consumers spending $123.45 per order, according to its IBM Watson Trend app. So it was turkey, followed by (in no particular order) couch, football, dessert, coffee and online shopping for many Americans.

On Black Friday, online sales were up 21.5% over 2014, according to IBM. Consumers continued to favor mobile devices: Mobile traffic exceeded desktop, accounting for 57.2% of all online traffic, an increase of 15.2% over 2014.

Stores like REI, GameStop and Staples which announced they would close on Thanksgiving and Black Friday gained a lot of positive media buzz – and also saw a payoff in terms of ecommerce traffic, outpacing competitors.

As for Cyber Monday, IBM said ecommerce sales were up 17.8% over the prior year. According to data from Slice Intelligence, Amazon was the clear winner of the day, with an astounding 36% share of ecommerce sales.

Another big winner over Cyber Weekend was Wayfair, which saw gross online sales from Wayfair.com and its ancillary sites (Joss & Main, AllModern, DwellStudio, and Birch Lane) rise 130% vs. 2014. There were the inevitable snafus, such as Neiman Marcus’s site going down for most of Black Friday, and Target ‘s ill-timed website crash on Cyber Monday, while across the pond UK retailer Argos suffered Black Friday woes.

Mobile commerce proved huge over the entire weekend, according to several studies and reports. For example, data from device authentication and fraud provider iovation showed that 48% of retail online transactions over Cyber Weekend were made using mobile phones and tablets, compared to 41% during the rest of the year. And Flurry from Yahoo reported that retail mobile app activity vs. the previous week saw the biggest spike on Black Friday (up 24%), not as big over the weekend (+8% and 10%), and then bigger on Cyber Monday (+16%).

On Cyber Monday, Walmart issued a statement saying that since Thanksgiving, nearly half of its orders came from a mobile device, making up 70% of traffic to Walmart.com during the period.

In terms of operations and fulfillment over Cyber Weekend, retailers significantly improved on-time performance, with a 45% reduction in late-to-ship orders compared to 2014, according to the DynamicAction Retail Holiday Index. Free shipping continued to be a key promotional tool, increasing 17% over the prior year, according to the index.

Compiled by Multichannel Merchant Senior Editor Mike O’Brien

Here’s a look at what else we saw this week in terms of news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world.

Marketing

share-this-icon-75X75It is the season of Instagram as marketers tell inspiring visual stories that drive business results during the holiday season…Pop star Demi Lovato enticed fans on Twitter with Cyber Monday deals. … Email marketing played a major role during Cyber Weekend 2015… Here’s how to mount the most successful holiday campaigns on social media platforms. … Learn lessons from the Amazon breach about how to stop fake reviews.

Ecommerce

Add-To-Cart-Icon-75X75Alipay saw significant growth of Chinese consumers participating in U.S. ecommerce holiday season…Kohl’s shared some fun facts and statistics from Cyber week and Black Friday week that show how customers are shopping digitally. … As of January 1, orders from Amazon.com will no longer be tax-free in South Carolina. … Thought you knew everything about cart abandonment? Here are 10 things you might have missed. … Lands End is looking to boost ecommerce to trigger to increase customer engagement. … Innotrac’s VP of Innovation, Brad Dorfman, talks all things Cyber Weekend 2015 with Multichannel Merchant Senior Editor Mike O’Brien. … On Cyber Monday, Amazon challenger Jet.com had its highest sales day since its July launch, posting $2.6 million in sales between its marketplace and JetAnywhere; its top-selling item was the Sony Dualshock 4 PS4 Controller.

Operations

shipping-delivery-75X75Target is now offering same-day delivery of food, groceries, health and beauty products, household supplies and baby items in Chicago via Instacart, in addition to Minneapolis and San Francisco, while shoppers in Dallas can now use their Walgreens app to have prescriptions fulfilled same-day by Deliv. … Amazon has unveiled its next-generation drone, which it says can deliver packages of 5 lbs or less within 30 minutes. The company has also purchased thousands of truck trailers, to transport goods between distribution and sortation centers, while saying it will continue to use major carriers to haul them. … FedEx is looking at a 250,000-square-foot distribution center in Seekonk, MA, while another will go up in Texarkana, AR. … Shorr Packaging Corp. has acquired packaging supply company Mack Paper. … A lot of vacant commercial property in Detroit is being eyed as distribution center space for companies including Amazon and Keystone Automotive. … S&S Activewear plans to open a new 473,000-square-foot distribution center in Kansas City, MO. Amazon announced its drone prototype can fly 400 feet.

… And more

newsTarget agreed to a $39 million settlement with several U.S. banks over its 2013 data breach. … German online fashion retailer Zalando has launched the Zipcart app to offer same-day delivery in Berlin, after trials there and in Cologne. Popstar and entrepreneur Nick Cannon will lead the creative team at Radio Shack. American Eagle dropped “interim” to CEO’s title. … Newgistics named Todd Everett as CEO, while Ben Wade was named CFO.

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