Facebook Had Only Indirect Role In Cyber Monday Sales

Facebook accounted for barely half a percent of total online sales during the busiest day of the year for online shopping, but the site likely had a more indirect role than what statisticians might have been able to capture.

Facebook accounted for barely half a percent of total online sales during Cyber Monday, the busiest day of the year for online shopping.

IBM arrived at that figure and found that Cyber Monday chatter on social networks more than doubled (up 115 percent) compared with 2010.

Our guess: People talk about shopping on Facebook without initiating transactions there. Activity on social media doesn’t lead as directly to online purchases as the IBM statisticians were looking for.

Other IBM Cyber Monday findings:

  • Online sales rose 33 percent compared with Cyber Monday 2010, and the average order was up 2.6 percent, to $198.26 from $193.24 last year.
  • The peak shopping time was 2:05 p.m. Eastern, and upward spikes were also seen following the evening commute on both coasts.
  • Mobile devices played more of a role, as 10.8 percent of shoppers used them on Cyber Monday 2011 compared with 3.9 percent the previous year; mobile’s percentage of sales rose to 6.6 percent from 2.3 percent the prior year.
  • Also on the mobile front, the Apple iPhone and iPad were the two top devices for mobile retail traffic, at 4.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, with Android phones and tablets placing third, at 3.2 percent. The two Apple devices accounted for 7.4 percent of online retail traffic on Cyber Monday, down from 10.2 percent on Black Friday.
  • Conversion rates for shoppers using the iPad rose to 5.2 percent from 4.6 percent on Cyber Monday 2010.
  • Online Cyber Monday sales were up 29.3 percent compared with Black Friday.
  • Mobile shopping traffic was 10.8 percent on Cyber Monday, down from 14.3 percent on Black Friday.
  • Mobile sales were also down, to 6.6 percent on Cyber Monday, from 9.8 percent on Black Friday.

IBM Smarter Commerce Chief Strategy Officer John Squire said:

Cyber Monday was once again the big winner for the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, with a record number of consumers focused on finding the best online deals. Retailers that adopted a smarter approach to commerce — one that allowed them to swiftly adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile devices — were able to fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend.