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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 02, 2009

Cyber Monday sees more traffic, more conversions

With both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past, the holiday shopping season is officially here. And, surprisingly, it is looking brighter than many analysts believed as summer turned to autumn. According to reports from both Hitwise and comScore consumers spent more on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2009 than was spent in 2008.

by Kristina Knight

For more on Black Friday numbers, click here.

Meanwhile for Cyber Monday metrics firm Hitwise notes that Amazon continued to be the top online site - a title the company has held since 2006. Walmart (9.6% of Cyber Monday traffic) and Target (5.16% of traffic) were right behind Amazon.

More important than traffic, however, is the money those consumers spent online. comScore reports a 5% increase in spending for Cyber Monday as consumers pushed just over $885 million into the space; in 2008 consumers spent just over $830 million online. Some of the increase can be attributed to the increase in consumers looking for online deals, but etailers and brands should note that more and more consumers are returning to favorite online hubs prior to looking at brick-and-mortar stores, especially for hard to find gifts.

"We've seen an encouraging start to the online holiday shopping season and it would appear that retailers' aggressive and early marketing efforts have so far succeeded in persuading consumers to open their wallets online," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday were atypically strong online sales days this year, and Cyber Monday has continued that trend by outperforming the season-to-date average growth rate and matching last year's record day of $887 million in online spending. Now, it will be important to see if spending continues to grow over the balance of the season -- because the heaviest spending day online typically occurs in mid-December."

One other note for etailers - the gift card will be an even bigger hit in 2009 than in 2008. According to a CashStar survey although many consumers feel gift cards are too impersonal (50%) more than three-quarters (85%) are considering ">purchasing 'personalized' gift cards which can be sent via email. Incentivized gift cards, for example buying a $50 gift card for a gift and getting a $10 gift card from the merchant for personal use, are a growing trend. More than 85% of consumers report they are more likely to buy incentivized cards than normal gift cards.

"Delivering compelling offers and incentives is much easier in the digital marketplace for retailers, as fulfillment is much less expensive and is immediate. And savvy retailers understand the benefit of offering a $10 incentive card to drive traffic to the store or site, where the consumer typically spends 60 percent more than the card's face value," said David Stone, CashStar CEO.

According to the survey 40% of holiday shoppers will buy gift cards and 70% of them will buy between two and five cards over the season.

Tags: CashStar, comScore, Cyber Monday, ecommerce, gift card purchases, gift cards, HitWise, incentivized gift cards, online shopping

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  • Gift cards can be impersonal, but more and more people are wanting to buy a gift of their own choice. If the issue is being impersonal, then adding some customization should help.



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