The 2014 holiday shopping season kicked off with a bang, and ecommerce retailers especially have a reason to celebrate.
According to comScore, the period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday saw 24% growth in sales over the same period last year.
Cyber Monday itself was one for the record books: with $2.038 billion in online desktop sales, December 1, 2014 was the heaviest online shopping day in history.
Did we say desktop? Indeed, we did. While mobile was the word on marketers’ lips leading up to this time of year, desktop purchases still accounted for 78% of Cyber Monday sales, and desktop users spent more than those shopping on mobile devices, according to IBM.
Still, the emphasis on mobile was justified, as it was one of the channels that saw significant growth this time around. Mobile traffic on Cyber Monday increased more than 30% over 2013, and mobile sales accounted for 22% of that day’s online sales.
If you’ll recall our Cyber Monday predictions post, Adobe had forecast mobile sales share at about 20%.
The other interesting prediction that seems to be holding true is the effect of retailers offering longer, or earlier, online deals, dampening the importance of Cyber Monday itself by spreading the shopping out over the long weekend.
Walmart in particular saw a surge in web traffic in the five days leading up to Cyber Monday, which was the retailer’s biggest online sales day ever.
Walmart’s Cyber Monday strategy included an “after hours” special promotional period targeted at shoppers who aren’t available to snap up deals during the day due to work, school, or other commitments. They also spread their deals out over “Cyber Week.”
Pre-Black-Friday predictions also highlighted the influence of social, and some brand names emerged from the cloud over the shopping weekend from the mouths of customers themselves.
Walmart, Amazon, and Kohl’s topped the list of most mentioned brands on social media over the weekend, according to data from Salesforce.
Non-retailers got in on the wave of social traffic, too – even NASA put its spin on Black Friday, or as it was re-dubbed, #BlackHoleFriday. The agency shared black hole facts and photos on its Instagram feed (which has a galactic following of its own).
It’s #BlackFriday, but for us, it’s the 2nd annual #BlackHoleFriday. Today, we’ll post pics & info about black holes. Tired from shopping? Maybe it’s time to devour some snacks. Here’s a black hole snacking on a star. On March 28, 2011, NASA’s Swift detected intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star. In one model, illustrated here, a sun-like star on an eccentric orbit plunges too close to its galaxy’s central black hole. About half of the star’s mass feeds an accretion disk around the black hole, which in turn powers a particle jet that beams radiation toward Earth. Video credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
With just one week of December behind us, there’s still plenty of race left before the holiday shopping is all wrapped up, but the premiere weekend made for an optimistic start.