Cyber Monday sales surged, sending online shopping toward a single-day record as Amazon.com and eBay siphoned consumers from brick-and-mortar stores.
Online sales rose 19 percent from 2012 as of 9 p.m. in New York, IBM said in an emailed statement. Retailers catering to smartphone and tablet users are benefiting the most, with mobile traffic accounting for 30 percent of the total site visits, an increase of more than 58 percent from last year, IBM said.
The results deliver another blow to physical stores, which just suffered the first spending decline on a Black Friday weekend since 2009. Web sales this holiday season are projected to climb as much as 15 percent to $82 billion, more than three times faster than total retail growth of 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion, the National Retail Federation said. Mobile devices drove 16 percent of online purchases, IBM said.
“The results thus far from an e-commerce perspective have been very strong — certainly strong relative to brick-and- mortar stores,” said Ron Josey, an analyst at JMP Securities in New York. “This is the first holiday season where mobile is absolutely having its mark on overall retail sales, whether that’s from a smartphone or a tablet. It’s not going away.”
Retailers like Seattle-based Amazon are chasing e-commerce holiday revenue that Forrester Research Inc. projects to rise 15 percent to $78.7 billion. Online spending increased 15 percent to a record $1.2 billion on Black Friday, according to research by ComScore.
Still, because of the in-store slump, total purchases fell 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion during the four days beginning with the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday, according to a survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation.
Online retailers are catering to consumers such as Camille Schmidt, 25, who owns a marketing company and primarily shops on the web. Schmidt scanned her email for big discount headlines Monday morning and allotted time to shop after work.
“I’m looking for the highest percentage discount,” she said, noting that she was eyeing a coupon for 40 percent off at Juicy Couture that appeared in her inbox that morning. “I usually know what I want, and they’re usually designer brands. I’m just waiting to see how far they’ll go.”
Amazon lured consumers on Monday with deals such as half off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere. EBay, based in San Jose, Calif., had similar discount offers, such as more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings. Physical stores with websites followed suit. J.Crew’s Madewell was offering 25 percent off all merchandise and free shipping.