Cyber Monday Hits $3 Billion Sales Mark As Online Importance Grows

Holiday shoppers 2014
Holiday shoppers inside Macy's in New York.
Getty Images.

Cyber Monday has come and gone, and the lesson for retailers is a familiar one: invest in online.

While many shoppers headed to the Web for Black Friday shopping this year — more than in any year previously — Cyber Monday continued the growth trend with more clicks and better deals online.

The National Retail Federation expected 121 million shoppers to hit the Web on Monday to shop and save — and shop they did. According to the Adobe Index, Cyber Monday saw $3 billion in sales, a 12 percent rise over 2014. Adobe also said that more people used their smartphones this year.

The Cyber Monday web increase came after a significant jump in Black Friday sales online, estimated at about a 14 percent rise, while in-store traffic declined 13.6 percent.

The results confirmed for analysts and retail experts that online continues to be a bigger part of the holiday puzzle for shoppers. But whether Cyber Monday can hold on to its relevance will be a big question next year as deals continue to appear earlier. Walmart started its sales on Sunday night, while Target, Kohl’s and Amazon offered a week of online discounts leading up to the big shopping weekend.

Cowen & Co. analysts weighed in yesterday, saying online retailers weren’t just offering earlier discounts, but also simplifying their discounts, with department and clothing stores offering deep discounts.

Among the biggest retailer headlines yesterday was that Target’s website crashed due to high demand. While the news wasn’t welcome for the store or shoppers who likely lost transactions, it did signal that the store was in demand for Cyber Monday after also doing well on Black Friday.