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Cyber Monday Spending Splurge: Despite Warnings About Shopping at Work, 69% Will Spend the Same or More This Year as 2014

Santa online.Business leaders are well aware that Cyber Monday shopping activity can result in one of the lowest productivity days of the year for employees—in fact, 30% of employers will block access to retail sites on Cyber Monday this year, while 42% will limit employee access (only 27% will allow unrestricted access) in an effort to curb bargain-fueled distractions, according to new research from deal-hunting site FatWallet. But even though a sizeable 7% of HR reps report having to reprimand or fire an employee for excessive shopping on Cyber Monday, 7 in 10 people surveyed plan to spend the same or more than they did last year.

The firm recently released its annual Cyber Monday shopping study, conducted by market research firm TNS, which includes a comprehensive overview of Cyber Monday trends since 2004. The study reports that online shopping is expected to thrive, despite the fact that 40% think prices will be higher this year (40% also think they’ll save more money than last year). Like last year, about half will shop on Cyber Monday and one third will buy holiday gifts, while another third will buy for themselves or family needs (non-gifts). Although 33% get their Cyber Monday ideals information from retailers, 26% say they rely on Black Friday deal sites, and 27% just go shopping without any intel.

What products will Cyber Monday shoppers be looking to buy this year?

  • 34% will buy Apparel
  • 33% will buy Consumer Electronics
  • 26% will buy Toys or Video Games
  • 23% will buy Books, Movies or Music
  • 22% will buy Home Items
  • 15% will buy Mobile Devices

“Although we see good deals on Cyber Monday, store-wide and department discounts are typically the big draw. In recent years, as many as half of all shoppers have opted to buy apparel,” said Brent Shelton, FatWallet online shopping expert, in a news release. “This year, shoppers are expecting to buy from a better mix of deals on electronics, media and mobile than we’ve seen in the past.”

Cyber Monday Historical Trends:
After 77% of online retailers reported a surge in spending on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004, the National Retail Federation (NRF) created the term “Cyber Monday.” By 2006, most retailers began to officially recognize Cyber Monday by offering huge deals, and Cyber Monday eclipsed $610 million in total sales. In 2010, total Cyber Monday sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time, while last year sales exceeded $2 billion, according to the NRF. However, while Cyber Monday total spending is on the rise, the average cost of the individual Cyber Monday order was in decline until last year, IBM research reported:

  • 2011: $198.26
  • 2012: $185.12
  • 2013: $128.77
  • 2014: $159.55

Where We Save: Nearly 8 in 10 made purchases from online (computer/laptop) and 2 in 10 via mobile (tablet/smartphone), with 79% on iOS and 21% on Android. With the average Cyber Monday discount reported at 23% in 2014, Cyber Monday shoppers look to save the most money on deals (78%), then free shipping (76%), store-wide discounts (55%), coupons (47%) and cash back (30%). The average Order by Retail Category (IBM):

  • Department Stores: $146.07 (up 9.7% from last year)
  • Health and Beauty: $57.94 (down 3.8% from last year)
  • Home Goods: $247.59 (up 10.9% from last year)
  • Apparel: $100.67 (down 2.1% from last year)

When We Shop: The biggest peak in Cyber Monday shopping in 2014 happened between noon and 3 p.m. EST, and the best deals occur before 10 a.m. EST, and shoppers only spend an average of 6 minutes browsing the web, according to SearchEngineWatch.com. Also in 2014, a FatWallet survey reports the average time spent shopping for Cyber Monday related sales in 2014:

  • Early Sunday: 26%
  • Monday morning: 38%
  • Monday at noon: 25%
  • Monday afternoon: 32%
  • Cyber Week: 32%

The national survey was conducted online by TNS on behalf of FatWallet.com in October 2015 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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