Consumers might have been looking to save with Cyber Monday deals, but they ultimately spent more than they did last year, racking up a record $1.028 billion in online sales and increasing average per-person spending by 12 percent, according to market research firm comScore.
"Last year what we saw is the entire increase in spending - a 4 percent increase - all driven by an increasing number of buyers . . . but spending was down on a per-buyer basis," said Andrew Lipsman, a comScore analyst. "So if you look at the decline on a per-buyer basis last year to a double-digit increase this year, I think that is a real, clear indicator of how the average consumer feels about spending."
Cyber Monday - the first Monday after Thanksgiving and typically described as the launch of the online shopping season - saw spending climb 16 percent from 2009, when sales rose 4 percent. This year, Cyber Monday was the heaviest Internet spending day in history and the first time sales passed the billion-dollar mark, said comScore, based in Reston, Va.
Farmingdale-based P.C. Richard & Son saw an increase in e-commerce sales, said president Gregg Richard. Richard said Wednesday that such sales have remained strong since the company initiated aggressive promotions in the two weeks before Black Friday. On Cyber Monday, some of the popular discounts were for flip cameras, GPS devices and home theater systems, all offered with free shipping.
"If you have a good, strong special, good savings and a good product, they are buying it. They are buying if you give them a reason to buy," Richard said.
The average spent per buyer rose from $102.19 to $114.24, comScore reported. The average dollar spent per transaction rose from $54.83 to $60.05, a 10 percent boost, the company said.
CouponCabin.com, which offers online coupons, saw traffic to its site Monday jump almost 60 percent from last year, said Jackie Warrick, the company's chief savings officer.
Retailers appear to be offering deeper discounts to accommodate savvy shoppers demanding deals, she said. But that doesn't mean consumers are actually spending less. "If you saved 20 percent on something, you saved money to spend on something else," Warrick noted.
Online sales weren't the only source of Cyber Monday dollars. According to eBay, shoppers went mobile, increasing U.S. mobile commerce sales 146 percent year over year.A recent survey of U.S. mobile shoppers by SmithGeiger Llc showed that, on average, mobile shoppers spend more than $100 per month on mobile purchases.