Link roundup: Black Friday / Cyber Monday in review

By all accounts, this holiday season got off to a rocking start. Forbes estimates that over the Black Friday weekend, consumers set at least two new records: total amount spent ($11.4 billion) and increase in online purchasing (up 24.3% over last year).

For my own purposes, I wanted to gather all the e-commerce data from Black Friday weekend in one place. At the end of this post, I’ve also included a couple of links showing how sites fared from a performance perspective.

GigaOM: This holiday season shopping has gone mobile in a big way
“The number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site is 17.37% with almost 9.73% of consumers using mobile device to make a purchase.”

Internet Retailer: Thanksgiving Day online sales rise 39% over last year
“Heavy use of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets like the iPad, were a big part of Thanksgiving Day online shopping. 15.2% of traffic came from mobile devices, up from 6.45% last Thanksgiving, and mobile devices accounted for 11.09% of purchases, well ahead of 4.25% last year, IBM says.”

Forbes: Implications of Black Friday: Apple, Amazon, eBay
“Mobile traffic was an increasing percentage of online traffic: 14.3% of total, versus 5.6% a year ago. Mobile purchasing as a percent of total more than tripled: 9.8% of online sales, versus 3.2% last year.”

Mobile Commerce Daily: PayPal global mobile payment volume increased 516% on Black Friday
“The company also saw a 371% increase in the number of customers shopping through mobile on Black Friday 2011 compared to last year.”

Akamai: Couch Commerce Takes a Cut at Midnight Doorbusters
“While nowhere near as explosive as Thanksgiving Day, the traffic growth continues to trend at much higher levels than 2010, on average 30% higher. The open question from Thanksgiving was whether Thanksgiving Day was just a shift of shopping activity from Black Friday, or a new shopping day in its own right. With Black Friday growth data so strong, it appears to be the latter.”

Internet Retailer: E-commerce shines on Black Friday
“Apple and Android devices account for virtually all of the mobile shopping activity, IBM says. 5.4% of traffic to retail web sites Friday came came from Apple iPhones, 4.8% from Apple iPads and 4.1% from devices that use Google’s Android software. That leaves less than 1% of traffic to retail sites coming from all other mobile devices. Shoppers using iPad converted at a much higher rate than other mobile consumers, 4.6% vs. 2.8% for users of all other mobile devices.”

Washington Post: Sales trackers say ‘Cyber Monday’ was biggest online shopping day in history
“Online sales rose 22% to $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday, when retailers ramp up online promotions, according to research firm comScore Inc. That makes it the biggest online shopping day ever, the research firm said. A year ago, Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion for the first time.”

While all this online activity was going on, how did sites fare performance-wise?

Good, obviously, but performance monitoring data suggests that they could have been better:

Compuware: Countdown to Cyber Monday: Black Friday Retail Web Performance Results
“Some of the leading retailers are leaving shoppers frustrated with slow websites and periodic outages. For the Top 50 retailers, page load times spiked by 21 percent and 11 percent for the Top 10 retailers. What does this mean for online shoppers? They are experiencing less than satisfying web and mobile site performance when compared to a similar non-peak period.”

Catchpoint: CyberMonday 2011 – The results are in!
Catchpoint monitored 55 top e-commerce sites and found that the performance winners were Macy’s (with a start render time of 414ms) and JC Penney (with a load time of 695ms). In terms of availability, 10% of the sites they monitored suffered downtime of an hour or longer.

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