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IBM claims online shopping up 30 percent on Cyber Monday

27 Nov 2012
Christmas shopping on the internet

Consumer spending on Cyber Monday was up 30 percent on last year, kicking off what analysts expect to be the best year ever for online retailers.

IBM said that total consumer spending on 26 November reached record levels, with unprecedented levels of consumers shopping online and via their mobiles.

A study by IBM suggested that department stores websites reaped the greatest benefit as sales were up some 43.1 percent over 2011. Home goods sold online saw a 26.8 percent jump, while clothing retailers reported a 25.3 percent web sales increase.

IBM said that on average users spent some $185.12 on their purchases, and spending activity hit its highest volumes at approximately 16:25 GMT as US shoppers in the Eastern and Midwestern US kicked off the work day.

While the volume of sales and the volume of items have gone up, the study found that in fact average purchase prices have dropped 6.6 percent, from $198.26 in 2011. IBM attributed this drop to the increase in free shipping offers and other promotional deals retailers rolled out for the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.

"Cyber Monday was not only the pinnacle of the Thanksgiving shopping weekend but when the cash register closed it officially became the biggest online shopping day ever," said Jay Henderson, director of strategy for IBM smarter commerce.

"Retailers that adopted a smarter marketing approach to commerce were able to adjust to the shifting habits of their customers."

The company noted mobile devices proved increasingly popular for shopping. IBM estimated that 13 percent of purchases were made on mobile devices, up 96 per cent from last year.

Of those mobile purchases, Apple's iOS platform grabbed the lion's share. Users of Apple's iPad were responsible for seven percent of all online sales, followed by the iPhone with 6.9 percent. Android devices were used for 4.5 percent of online purchases.

IBM's figures come from its Digital Analystics Benchmark platform, a cloud-based data analysis tool which monitors customer behaviour on e-commerce sites.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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