Cyber Monday is still holding up as the biggest online shopping day of the year, even though many of the same deals have been available online for weeks and the name harks back to the days of dial-up modems.
Shoppers were expected to spend a record $9.4 billion on purchases made on their phones and computers Monday, up about 19% from last year’s Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions at 80 of the top 100 U.S. online stores.
The busiest time was expected to be in the hour before midnight, as people raced to take advantage of discounts before they disappeared.
Meanwhile, several retail analysis firms reported that in-store foot traffic was down on Black Friday.
Black Friday’s in-store foot traffic fell 6.2% compared to the same day a year ago, according to preliminary data released Saturday by ShopperTrak.
Another firm, RetailNext, a San Jose-based retail analytics company, said in preliminary data Saturday that in-store traffic on Black Friday fell 2.1% compared to the same day last year.
RetailNext also reported that in-store sales on Black Friday fell 1.6% but updated its numbers Monday to say that in-store sales actually had increased by 1.6%.
Cyber Monday was created by retailers in 2005 to get people to shop online at a time when high-speed internet was rare and the iPhone didn’t exist. The idea was to encourage people to shop at work, where faster connections made it easier to browse, when they returned from the Thanksgiving break.
“It’s somewhat antiquated,” said Rob Graf, vice president of strategy and insights at cloud computing company Salesforce, which tracks shopping behavior of the online stores that use its platform. “But retailers are still using it as a big milestone and driving heavy discounts.”
At least one brand played up Cyber Monday’s origins: Bonobos, the men’s clothing seller owned by Walmart Inc., photographed models posing with clunky computers and black-and-white TVs for its site.
“Boot up the dial-up,” one of its Cyber Monday ads said.
On average, retailers offered 30% off on Monday, the steepest discounts of the year, according to Salesforce.
Adobe said the bestselling toys on Cyber Monday were those related to the “Frozen 2” movie, “Paw Patrol” show and the LOL Surprise brand. TVs from Samsung and laptops by Apple were also hot sellers. And Amazon’s devices, such as its voice activated Echo, did well, too.
— with Tory N. Parrish