Even Before Cyber Monday, E-Commerce Won the Holiday Shopping Weekend

Mobile saw the greatest boost in activity, according to a report from Philly-based Monetate.

Screenshot of Five Below's Cyber Monday page.

Screenshot of Five Below’s Cyber Monday page.

It’s finally Cyber Monday, but shoppers didn’t wait until today to take advantage of online deals.

According to the National Retail Federation, which released numbers on Sunday, 44 percent of consumers did their shopping online, compared with 40 percent at brick-and-mortar shops. And according to Philly-based brand customization startup Monetate, which analyzed e-commerce activity across more than 100 million U.S. consumer channels on desktops, mobile devices and tablets, mobile saw the greatest increase in activity this year.

Monetate’s report indicates that on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, there was an approximately 5.5 percent increase over 2015 in the amount customers spent overall online. On Thanksgiving Day, mobile experienced a 115 percent increase in the number of conversions, or the number of people who visited a site and actually ended up making a purchase.

“Gone are the days of rushing from the Thanksgiving dinner table into crowded stores in order to stock up on gifts,” said Lucinda Duncalfe, Monetate’s CEO in a statement. “Clearly, e-commerce has not only arrived, but is now the channel of choice for holiday buyers.”

Black Friday may not be dead (yet), but the shift to e-commerce means that consumers are increasingly using technology to make smarter, more deliberate decisions about where to spend their money. Tech is also supporting extreme thrifting, allowing users to compare prices quickly and hold out for the cheapest deals. In response to this shifting reality, retailers offered deep discounts online even before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. eBay pushed for “Mobile Wednesday” this year, offering customers mobile deals the day before Thanksgiving, for example, and Target started its online discounts on Sunday morning. And according to Monetate’s findings, for the first time ever, conversion rates across mobile, tablets, and desktops were higher on Thanksgiving than on Black Friday.

“It is not just consumers who benefit from the ease of shopping at whatever time on whichever device,” said Duncalfe. “Retailers now have the ability to use deep data to enrich and personalize the consumer experience, which in turn leads to greater sales and increased loyalty.”

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