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Cyber Monday stats could be useful for retailers

Cyber Monday stats could be useful for retailers

With Cyber Monday behind us, it's time to take a look at trends that developed over the holiday shopping weekend. IBM recently released statistics about this year's biggest shopping period, and the results may prove useful even for retailers who don't do a lot of web-based business.

According to the study, online sales increased 30.3 percent this year compared to 2011. Though Cyber Monday was not the biggest shopping day of the season, online sales on the day were up more than 36 percent compared to web transactions on Black Friday.

Mobile shopping was also profitable. On Cyber Monday, more than 18 percent of shoppers logged on to a retailer's website through a mobile device, and sales on smart phones and tables approached 13 percent, a 96 percent increase over 2011. Around 58.1 percent of shoppers said they used their smartphone to compare prices, and some of them did so even while standing in physical stores.

"Cyber Monday was not only the pinnacle of the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, but when the cash register closed it officially became the biggest online shopping day ever," said Jay Henderson, IBM's strategy director. "Retailers that adopted a smarter marketing approach to commerce were able to adjust to the shifting shopping habits of their customers, whether in-store, online or via their mobile devices of choice, and fully benefit from this day and the entire holiday weekend."

IBM's report suggests that strong marketing techniques can help retailers maintain sales in-store. Department stores this year managed to drive sales at the brick and mortar locations by 43.1 percent on Cyber Monday compared to last year.

One way that department stores help drive sales in-store is by attracting foot traffic with window displays. Having colorful bulk retail supplies decorating your storefront or putting adult and child mannequins in trendy outfits can help bring in shoppers who may otherwise turn to the internet. Revamping your online store can also help bring in more revenue this season.

The research from IBM shows that certain stores fared better than others on Cyber Monday. Home and beauty sales increased 25.1 percent in 2012 compared to last year, and home goods sales clocked in at 26.8 percent over 2011. Apparel stores also soared on Cyber Monday – they increased 25.3 percent in a single year.