Cyber Monday retail sales less robust

Retailers rolled out discounts and free shipping deals on Cyber Monday – a term coined in 2005 by the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) online arm Shop.org, to encourage people to shop online – with millions of Americans expected to log on and shop on their work computers, laptops and tablets. However, with retailers extending their online deals into ‘Cyber Week’ and even ‘Cyber Month’, early reports indicated online shopping was less robust on Monday, compared to previous years. According to NRF, this Cyber Monday coming after a weekend saw 5.3% fewer shoppers and 11% less spending.

Nonetheless it is still expected to be the biggest online shopping day as it has been each year since 2010, which is good news for retailers after a Thanksgiving weekend that saw fewer shoppers and lower spending than last year. Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru believes retailers could be playing it safe on deal offers since shoppers have been conditioned to head online to look for sales on Monday. “Cyber Monday offers aren’t super compelling, but don’t need to be. It has been the biggest shopping day of the year for the last few years, so they know that people are going to come.”

US-based research firm comScore estimates e-commerce spending for the first 28 days of November and December shopping season to be $22.7 billion, up 15% from last year. Sales soared 32% to $1 billion on Thanksgiving Day and 26% on Black Friday to $1.51 billion. The firm expects people to spend about $2.5 billion on Cyber Monday alone. NRF is also optimistic. It predicts 126.9 million people to shop online this year, down 4% from last year, but overall holiday sales to increase 4.1% to $616.9 billion in 2014.

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