Strong Cyber Monday but Some Fulfillment Hitches

Strong Cyber Monday but Some Fulfillment Hitches

While revenue for the day was up 16.2%, one retailer, Target, had issues with its website which was down part of Monday. It cost the companya 1.8% decline in share price. 

Cyber Monday 2015 was the biggest day in U.S. online shopping ever with revenue up 16.2% from last year. Orders grew 14.7% according to the Custora E-Commerce Pulse..

Consultancy Kurt Salmon, which works with retailers on supply chain issues, told the Recorder Press that some large retailers had trouble filling seasonal jobs in their online distribution centers this holiday season.

Target was one such company. On Monday its website was down temporarily with visitors seeing a message on their screen that read "Hold tight. If you wouldn't mind holding, we'll refresh automatically & get things going ASAP. And the company paid a price for this problem as its shares fell as much as 1.8% to $72.12 following  reports about the website problems. For the second time this year, Target's e-commerce site crashed due to exceptionally high levels of activity related to a major sales promotion, as reported by financialcv.com.

Other holiday fulfillment problems hit  Neiman Marcus's website which was unavailable most of Friday, according to Catchpoint but the y offered customers 15% on orders for Cyber Monday.

However Amazon was prepared and actually offered new deals throughout the day. At the company’s Fulfillment Center in Kenosha, Wisc.  Tom Cook told CBS news that they were processing orders at the rate of 500 items per second. The facility, which is the equivalent of 28 footballs fields, employs 2000 permanent workers. It also uses seasonal workers and robots which sorting, processing and packaging on 11 miles of conveyor belts.

For a closer looks at sales on Cyber Monday, Custora offered the following observations.

Mobile shopping was driving Cyber Monday and holiday weekend online shopping. Mobile Shopping (e-commerce orders made on mobile phones and tablets) accounted for over a quarter of online shopping on Cyber Monday 2015 – 26.9% of orders. That’s a significant jump from only 23% on Cyber Monday 2014.
For the full holiday weekend, mobile shopping accounted for 32.1% of orders, up from 26.4% over the same period in 2014. Black Friday was “Mobile Friday,” with mobile accounting for 36.1% of orders, up from only 30.3% on Black Friday 2014.

Apple still dominates e-commerce, but Android devices are stealing share. 
Throughout 2015, and for the first three weeks of the holiday season,  Android devices were “nibbling at the Apple,” stealing e-commerce share from Apple devices (iPhones and iPads). The same trend took place on Cyber Monday and the entire holiday weekend: The vast majority of mobile shopping happened on Apple devices over the weekend – 78.1%, while only 21.6% happened on Android devices. However, Apple’s share is down from 79.6% on last year’s holiday weekend 2014, while Android’s share is up from 19.7%.

Email Marketing and Google Search were the key to e-commerce success over the weekend.
Email Marketing was the channel that drove the most online sales on Black Friday. While usually lagging behind online search (free and paid), on Black Friday email marketing was the primary channel, driving 25.1% of sales. Beyond email, 21.1% of sales originated through free search, and 16.3% through paid search on Black Friday. Cyber Monday exhibited a similar trend, though less pronounced – with email marketing driving 22.1% of orders, free search 20.7%, and paid search 16.6%.

For the holiday weekend, the story is similar, with email marketing generating 23.3% of orders, free search 20.5%, and paid search 15.9%.

Social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) was not a meaningful channel during the holiday weekend, driving only 1.6% of e-commerce orders. The same applies to Cyber Monday, where social media networks drove 1.5% of orders.

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