Tech Life

Cyber Monday beats Black Friday

So you thought Black Friday was big. Consider it just the start of Cyber Monday.

Yeah there were lines in stores.

But consider this: An estimated 40 percent of all retail transactions from Black Friday to Cyber Monday are come from smartphones and tablets. On Thanksgiving Day alone, online sales rose an estimated  27% this year to hit $1.33  billion, in large part thanks to the earlier store openings and better co-ordination of e-commerce with store activity by retailers. By Black Friday itself, online sales over the two days reached $3.73 billion. The online surge actually started the day after Thanksgiving. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 28, $32 billion has been spent online, up 14 percent from 2013, according to Adobe.

And online shopping continued all through this weekend, leading to the big day itself – Cyber Monday. The numbers are trending huge.

We do know that last year, Cyber Mon­day online shopping sales hit $2.29 bil­lion for the day.  This year, it’s predicted to be $2.6 billion.

Stop and process that a minute.

Since Thursday and Friday of this year supposedly racked up $3.73 billion already, you can readily see that – added to the online buying that went on all weekend – Cyber Monday 2014 is going to amass a total Thursday-Monday online total of perhaps as much as $6 billion. Or more.

And that’s not the end of it. Cyber Monday may not actually be the biggest shopping day of the year. The Experian credit tracking site  predicts strong sales on Tuesday Dec. 2, perhaps rivaling or exceeding Cyber Monday because folks are texting and emailing the best deals to their friends.

All these are estimated for this year, of course.

In terms of hard facts, we do have last year’s actual stats to use as a baseline. And they tend to validate the predictions.

Some 92 million people shopped in stores on Black Friday last year, compared to 131 million people who shopped online on Cyber Monday.  Last year the average shopper spent around $310 on Black Friday in stores and around $470 online on Cyber Monday, according to an AOL survey.

Black Friday for bricks and sticks stores will soon be eclipsed by Super Saturday. This year, Super Saturday will fall on Dec. 20 to rank as the busiest shopping day this year for brick and mortar stores.

The storey this year, though, is online. It is absolutely huge.

And just like people got up early Black Friday to hit the stores, online shoppers stay up late Sunday to take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals.

The first big surge in Cyber Monday shopping comes at 12:01 a.m. EST when many of the best deals are live. The next spike is 3:01 a.m. EST when West Coast retailers go live. The next  big spike comes just before those office lunch breaks – usually between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. local time when most shoppers can check out the Cyber Monday from their desks. Almost half of online shopping is done at work.

So… how good are the deals? Adobe, using data from 2013 and early notices of 2014 online prices, predicted the best online prices would be Thanksgiving Day, when the average discount was expected to be 24%,  compared to 20% for the whole week.

But the truth of the matter is, those good online deals  everyone has been touting will likely be good deals all the way through Christmas. In fact, those good deals may become even better deals if you wait.


Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.