Cyber Monday sales hit record $1.25 billion

Faith Merino · November 29, 2011 · Short URL:

Online retailers from Amazon to Etsy see huge increases in sales this year

Earlier today, IBM Benchmark announced that Cyber Monday spending was up 33% this year over last year.  ComScore has come up with slightly different numbers, but they still paint a pretty awesome picture.

The digital research company announced Tuesday that consumer spending hit $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the heaviest online spending day in history and the second time that U.S. online spending has surpassed the $1 billion mark.  ComScore’s metrics mark a 22% increase over last year’s spending.

This more or less falls in line with comScore’s prediction that Cyber Monday would hit $1.2 billion this year, up from $1 billion last year.  Some $15 billion has already been spent between November 1-28, representing a 15% increase over last year.

But back to the subject of record-setting spending: while last year set the record for the first time in history that online spending has surpassed $1 billion, this year set the record for the first time in history that 10 million people have made an online purchase in one day.  Last year, nine million people bought online.

And true to form, half of all dollars spent online yesterday were from purchases made from work computers, despite the bevy of articles that swooped the Web yesterday on employers cracking down on people shopping on the clock.  (I can say with pride that I don’t shop while on the clock.  Facebook is my on-the-clock time-suck.)

ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni notes in a statement that it will be “vital to see whether retailers’ deals and price discounting, which consumers are now able to discover via so many different digital media channels, will have a negative impact on retailers’ margins this holiday season.”

Online retailers seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.  Amazon announced Monday that Kindle sales on Black Friday were up 4X over last year.  But the uplift hasn’t been limited to the major online retailers or big box stores.  Smaller online retailers that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to win big on Thanksgiving weekend also reported higher than average numbers this year.  Etsy, of all sites, announced Tuesday that Cyber Monday was a single-day sales record for the crafty marketplace, with overall sales up 80% over last year.  Additionally, mobile traffic to Etsy was up a whopping 350% on Thanksgiving weekend over the same weekend last year.

Etsy’s Cyber Monday success is somewhat surprising, given the fact that the big Thanksgiving sales are usually concentrated among the major retailers, but it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock given the amount of Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing the site did this year.  So it just goes to show you that stronger marketing efforts will bring more Thanksgiving shoppers to your (virtual) door.


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