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IBM: Cyber Monday numbers reach all-time high

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM reported Tuesday that online spending surged 30.3% year-over-year on Cyber Monday, an all-time high.

Mobile shopping rose 70% over the prior year.

As part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark revealed the following additional Cyber Monday key findings:

  • Online shopping momentum hit its highest peak at 11:25 a.m. EST. As in 2011, consumer shopping also maintained strong momentum after commuting hours on both the east and west coast.
  • More than 18% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, an increase of more than 70% over 2011. Mobile sales reached close to 13%, an increase of more than 96% over 2011.
  • The iPad continued to generate more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, driving more than 7% of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 6.9% and Android at 4.5%. The iPad also continued to dominate tablet traffic reaching a holiday high of 90.5%. Amazon Kindle leapt into second at 2.6% followed by the Samsung Galaxy at 2% and the Barnes and Noble Nook at 0.6%.
  • Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall, 58.1% of consumers used smartphones compared to 41.9% who used tablets to surf for bargains on Cyber Monday.
  • While consumers continued to spend more, they once again shopped with greater frequency to take advantage of retailer deals as well as free shipping. This led to a drop in average order value by 6.6% to $185.12. However, the average number of items per order increased 14.1% to 8.34, compared with Black Friday.
  • Shoppers referred from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated 0.41% of all online sales on Cyber Monday, a decrease of more than 26% from 2011.

IBM also compared Cyber Monday results to Black Friday in its report, finding that:

  • Cyber Monday 0nline sales were up more than 36% over Black Friday.
  • As expected, mobile sales decreased as consumers went back to work and conducted more of their shopping from their PC. On Cyber Monday both mobile traffic and sales were down more than 20% from Black Friday.
  • Shoppers referred from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube grew by more than 20% over Black Friday.
  • Shoppers’ positive consumer sentiment on promotions, product availability and convenience all grew over Black Friday. Positive sentiment around retailers themselves also maintained its overall three-to-one ratio.

“Cyber Monday was not only the pinnacle of the Thanksgiving shopping weekend but when the cash register closed it officially became the biggest online shopping day ever,” said Jay Henderson, strategy director, IBM Smarter Commerce. “Retailers that adopted a smarter marketing approach to commerce were able to adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile device of choice, and fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend.”

Cyber Monday sales growth was led by several industries, which include:

  • Department stores continued to offer compelling deals and promotions that drove sales to grow by 43.1% over Cyber Monday 2011;
  • Health and Beauty sales increased 25.1% year over year;
  • Home goods maintained its momentum this year, reporting a 26.8% increase in sales from Cyber Monday 2011; and
  • Apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Cyber Monday numbers showing an increase of 25.3% over 2011.

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Holiday Shopper Sentiment Report: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Consumer Face-Off

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — On Wednesday, Nov. 28, Chainstoreage.com will unveil an exclusive and revealing look at how shoppers felt — what turned them on and off — on two of the busiest and most critical retail days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Holiday Shopper Sentiment Report: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Consumer Face-Off by SAP will explore real-time trends and insights that will inform the next generation of retail.

Using social media tracking tools, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Consumer Face-Off will look beyond sales volume to find out what people said and felt when hunting for holiday deals on these two critical days. The real-time insights uncovered will help retailers better understand what drives shoppers, from what types of deals get shared and what types get passed over to what social medial outlets topped the charts for showing off the deals of the day.

“Personalizing the retail experience begins with understanding how consumers live, work and play. Delivering enhanced experiences requires crucial omni-channel insights provided by consumer data that is no longer dependent on levels of aggregation. Our goal is to provide retailers with that data and with technologies to enhance those crucial consumer touchpoints,” Michael Schulze, senior VP and general manager, North America Retail Industry, SAP.

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday Consumer Face-Off by SAP will provide invaluable insights into the new world of retailing, one in which consumers hold all the cards. Be sure to check it out on Wednesday, Nov.28, on Chainstoreage.com.

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JCP begins 12 days of brand building

BY CSA STAFF

Abysmal sales at J.C. Penney haven’t deterred the company from pursuing a series of unique cause marketing activities around a potential new holiday tradition focused on giving back.

Tuesday marks the first ever #GivingTuesday, a social media initiative J.C. Penney help organize that follows on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with the intention of inspiring Americans to join in acts of giving and celebrate the country’s tradition of generosity. J.C. Penney is doing its part on Tuesday when it kicks of a 12 days of giving campaign in New York’s Bryant Park with a free performance by popular recording artist John Legend and free ice skating and hot chocolate.

"As a company founded on the Golden Rule, J.C. Penney has a strong legacy of giving back. As we embark on our exciting transformation, we realize becoming America’s favorite store isn’t just about the shopping experience we offer our customers – it’s also about what we do to support the communities in which we live and work," said Miki Woodard, the company’s president and vice president of philanthropy. "The holidays are a time of generosity and giving and we look forward to sharing this holiday spirit through our Holiday Giving Tour by surprising America with acts of generosity across the country."

The surprising and clever acts will unfold over the coming days and should generate considerable favorable publicity for a company whose transformational strategy has yet to produce favorable results. For example, after the Legend performance in New York, it is on to Langhorne, Pa., where lumberjacks will distribute free firewood outside a store at the Oxord Valley Mall. Then it is on to Orlando where J.C. Penney will replace toll booth attendants with Santas and will match the tolls paid with donations to the Salvation Army.

In Knoxville, Tn., a miniature J.C. Penney-branded blimp will drop small gifts to unsuspecting pedestrians and the following day in Dallas the company will make snow to create sledding opportunities at Flagpole Hill park. Continuing the winter theme in another warm weather city, the parking lot of a store at New Orleans’ Oakwood Shopping Center will be turned into a skating rink.

Residents of Chicago will be treated to a Santa handing out J.C. Penney cashmere scarves, hats and other items. From there, the company heads west and in the town of Alamosa, Co., a ceremony will be held to light a Rockefeller Center-sized Christmas tree. In nearby Kemmerer, Wy., J.C. Penney will take over local car wash to provide free car washes by Santas while elves dispense hot beverages, $10 gift cards and breakfast burritos.

In Portland, residents will have an opportunity to receive one of hundreds of poinsettias used by a local artist earlier in the day to create something called a pointillism portrait. In Phoenix, a team of elves will offer free valet parking at J.C. Penney’s Paradise Valley stores. The Giving Tour concludes in grand fashion outside a store at the Westfield Culver City mall when recording artist Blake Shelton provides an acoustic holiday performance.

Beyond the 12 day tour, J.C. Penney said its stores would also be providing acts of generosity to customers throughout the holiday season by distributing collectible holiday buttons featuring one of 50 classic designs and holiday expressions. A unique code on the back of each button offers customers a chance to win one of millions of gifts including vacations, tickets to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, J.C. Penney merchandise and gift cards. In addition, for each button redeemed on November 27 at www.jcp.com/christmas the company will donate one dollar to the Salvation Army up to $100,000.

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