Hot Topics:

Cyber Week Brings in Billions in Sales

Online shoppers spend more than $5.46 billion.

Online buyers spent big bucks during Cyber Week, the week after Thanksgiving, shelling out more than $1 billion on three separate days.

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, saw the highest spending with a total of $1.46 billion. On the following day, Nov. 27, shoppers shelled out $1.26 billion, and on Nov. 28, they spent $1.11 billion, according to researcher comScore.

Overall, online shoppers spent $5.46 billion during Cyber Week, an 11-percent increase compared to 2011, when spending reached $4.93 billion, the company reports.

The gain may sound impressive, but the “sugar high” for online buyers may be short-lived, says comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

“While we still saw three billion-dollar days this week, growth rates dampened following the peak demand of the Thanksgiving-to-Cyber Monday promotional period,” he explains. “This is a similar pattern to what we observed last year. In addition, unseasonably warm weather throughout many parts of the country may have given consumers some added impetus to shop in-store rather than rely on online shopping.”

Free shipping proves important

To date, online shoppers have spent $20.4 billion, a 15-percent increase compared to the same time last year.

Free shipping proved important for online holiday shoppers. In fact, during the week that ended on Nov. 18, 55 percent of online sales included free shipping. During the week of Thanksgiving, that number jumped to 57 percent, with orders that included free shipping having an average value of $137. The average value of orders that included paid shipping that week was at $91, comScore notes.

During the last week of November, the week that started on Cyber Monday, 50 percent of online sales included free shipping, with average values for those orders totaling $111. Orders with paid shipping had an average value of $91, comScore adds.

Fulgoni says sellers may lose some of their profits by offering free shipping, but they seem to benefit more, since shoppers tend to spend more when free shipping is involved.

“Consumers may either be responding to the minimum spending thresholds needed in order to receive free shipping, or figure that as long as they know they’re receiving free shipping it might be worth adding another item or two to their shopping basket,” he says.

newsletter signup

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

Newsletter Signup