Cyber Monday Sales Beat Forecast

Cyber Monday last week saw revenues greater than $3 billion—for the first time. The holiday shopping spree set, “a record for a single day of online sales that also topped expectations.” Slow consumer spending had many retailers worried about black Friday and cyber Monday shopping numbers, and this latest report shows that online sales were a big boost for many companies.

Online sales last Monday rose 16 percent from 2014’s Cyber Monday extravaganza. Adobe’s Digital Index predicted the sales event, “which is traditionally the largest online selling day of the year, would rise just 12 percent to right around $3 billion.” The numbers from 2015 show that those estimates were slightly lower than reality—an encouraging boost to companies.

Additionally, sales during the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday totaled, “$11.11 billion, 2.4 percent more than the expected $10.58 billion and 17 percent more than last year.” More shoppers were also using mobile devices to make purchases this year. Online spending from a smartphone or tablet generated $799 million worth of sales.

Cyber Monday’s numbers suggest that shoppers are continuing to move online for browsing and purchasing. While many purchases continue to, “take place in brick-and-mortar locations,” the trend suggests that online shopping is increasingly preferable to shoppers.

While the numbers are heartening, many stores still faced an uninspiring shopping season, “As early price cuts and deflation weighed on results. Data from ShopperTrak, which tracks in-store purchases, showed sales were down an estimated 10.4 percent over Black Friday weekend. Separate figures from RetailNext showed in-store sales fell 4.7 percent over the period.”

Some malls reported slightly increased traffic and sales, but “only revenues, while rising at a slower rate than in years’ past, are nonetheless driving the majority of retailers’ growth, with Amazon leading the charge. According to ChannelAdvisor, Amazon’s Cyber Monday revenues increased 21.1 percent from last year, outperforming overall online sales growth of 18 percent.”

The number of individual shoppers also increased this shopping season. A survey by the National Retail Federation found that, “151 million Americans either shopped in stores or online over Black Friday weekend, well above the expected 136 million.” Retailers also enthusiastically expect shopping to continue throughout the season, with a great deal of optimism still out there for December.

As market-watchers and the Fed keep a close eye on consumer spending (and saving), our team at Apex Financial Advisors knows that plenty of families are looking at their 2016 finances and working on a financial plan. As a new year approaches, create a financial plan that works for you with our experts at Apex Financial Advisors.