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Cyber Monday sales are up, but shoppers keep buying earlier

Revenue from Cyber Monday sales is estimated to be 15 per cent higher than last year, according to data compiled by Salesforce.

The marketing software company based its findings on the activity of 500 million global shoppers across 53 countries, who made billions of transactions on websites powered by Commerce Cloud, as well as social media conversations analysed through Marketing Cloud.

The data show growth across several key metrics, including revenue, traffic, mobile traffic and mobile orders on Cyber Monday compared to last year.

The average order value was $103, down from $106 last year, and about $10 less than the average order value on Black Friday.

Retailers also slightly increased their discounts, from 28 per cent to 29 per cent, and free shipping offers, from 88 per cent to 89 per cent, giving up a bit more margin this year.

One of the most interesting findings from this year’s Cyber Monday activity is the consumer shift to spend earlier.

While Black Friday used to mark the start of the discount weekend, Salesforce found that Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve) are up 31 per cent year-over-year, serving as the real start of the shopping season.

In addition, Salesforce found that phones accounted for 60 per cent of traffic on Black Friday and over 50 per cent of order on Saturday and Sunday for the first time. In the past, these days were geared more towards offline shopping.

As a result, Monday is no longer the preeminent day to snap up a bargain online.

“Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the rest of Cyber Weekend brought big gains to e-commerce this year. All that digital shopping happening early in the season begs the question, Why does Monday still matter?” Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, wrote in a blog post.

For now, Kenney wrote, Cyber Monday lives on as the second-biggest shopping day of the holiday season.

“Ever since Cyber Monday became a ‘thing’ in 2005, it was the digital shopping day of the holiday season, when consumers leveraged their fast corporate networks to buy online. But like last year, Black Friday has emerged as the biggest digital shopping day of the season. And despite impressive 15 per cent growth this year on Cyber Monday, the day itself has lost its punch as the one day to score digital deals. Why? Consumers have pulled their shopping earlier, transforming Wednesday through Sunday into the new heart of the online shopping season.”

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