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Retail

Cyber Monday Sales Slow as Web Shopping Spans Holiday Season

The pace of online spending slowed on Cyber Monday after consumers started their Internet shopping earlier over the weekend, turning to their smartphones to pick up deals, according to International Business Machines Corp.

Web-based sales climbed 17 per cent Monday from a year earlier as of 6pm in New York yesterday, after jumping 26 per cent on Saturday and Sunday, IBM said in a report. Still, Cyber Monday remains the biggest online spending day, with total outlays projected to hit a record $3 billion this year, according to Adobe Systems Inc.

Holiday purchasing patterns are shifting as more spending moves online and away from traditional stores. For most of the past decade, the Monday following Thanksgiving was the busiest day for Web shopping as U.S. consumers returned to work and used their offices’ fast Internet connections to buy holiday gifts. But the rise of smartphones and speedier home Internet service has led consumers to snag online deals throughout the holiday weekend. Retailers -- traditional and electronic -- are now offering bargains earlier than ever.

 

"Cyber Monday is becoming Cyber Week," said Marlene Morris Towns, a Georgetown University marketing professor who studies online shopping. "We’ll see a less dramatic spike on Cyber Monday."

Still, retailers’ revenue on Monday and the weekend showed an increase compared with 2014, when online sales grew 8.5 per cent and 17 per cent.

Some of the most popular items on weekend shopping lists included televisions from Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and LG Electronics Inc., as well as the Apple Watch and Beats by Dre headphones, according to IBM’s Watson Trend app. Other popular choices are hoverboards, Nike Inc. running shoes, Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Skylanders video-game series and Star Wars R2-D2 droids.

Thanksgiving was the fastest-growing online shopping day, with sales rising 25 percent to a record $1.7 billion, according to Adobe. About 37 per cent of Thanksgiving sales came from smartphones and tablets, up from 29 percent in 2014, according to Adobe. Online spending on Black Friday increased 14 percent from 2014.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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