Cyber Monday breaks records

Cyber Monday – What’s it all about?

In the UK Cyber Monday is always the first Monday of December and represents the biggest pre-Christmas shopping day of the year for British consumers. It’s generally the first major shopping day after payday. It’s been found that customers browse over the weekend and commit to buying on Cyber Monday.

Visa Europe predicted Monday would be the “biggest online shopping day in history” with armchair shoppers making 6.8m purchases, an increase of 21pc on last year which is equivalent to parting with £222,222 a minute to buy 4,722 items.

How did it play out?

We noticed a huge uplift in sales across the affilinet platform in the last 7 days and Cyber Monday was no exception. The Christmas shopping season is definitely in full swing.  The IMRG expects £4.6bn to be spent online in the coming fortnight.

This was particularly true for some of the retail advertisers on the affilinet platform. Debenhams reported a sales increase of 20% and Matalan experienced an impressive 58% increase in sales compared to Cyber Monday last year.

When did customers shop?

Although sales were strong the entire day especially during lunchhour, people favoured shopping after dark.  Most consumers went online between 20:00 and 23:00 with sales spiking around 21:00. Mobile sales followed suit with most taking place during people’s leisure time in the evenings.

What were they buying?

Debenhams have category level tracking implemented which means we can track what items are being purchased. This insight can be used to understand customers’ needs and buying patterns. We used this data to delve a little deeper into Debenhams’ sales.

On Cyber Monday cosmetics and perfumes accounted for a third of Debenhams’ sales which is unprecedented for this particular category. Traditionally it is thought that these items are bought instore due to their tactile nature but perhaps this is a trend that is changing.

Other categories that performed well were womens accessories and homewear as customers were obviously buying gifts and getting themselves and their homes ready for the festive period.

Mobile certainly played its part in Cyber Monday, as predicted. Purchases carried out via mobile topped up the total sales we saw across the affilinet platform. Mobile sales for Debenhams were up 350% year on year. This figure is purely based on sales from mobile handsets and doesn’t account for purchases made on tablets as these are automatically directed towards the Debenhams.com desktop site.

What’s next?

It’s set to be a busy few weeks ahead for retailers and publishers alike. Another date to watch out for is the 17th December. Some say that this will potentially be the “real” cyber Monday and outperform the first Monday of the month which is intriguing. Does that mean people are becoming more trusting of internet purchases and retailers last delivery dates? Watch this space!

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