Online shoppers hit Cyber Monday - hard

E-commerce jumps as more shoppers use mobile devices to browse and buy

Come on, admit it. How much work did you get done yesterday? Not much? Well, you’re not alone.

Bosses across the country may not be happy to hear that people hit the big Cyber Monday sales hard.

Yesterday’s Cyber Monday drew in record sales, with numbers jumping 17.8 percent over the same day last year, according to IBM Watson analytics.

IBM’s Watson supercomputer, which uses artificial intelligence, is the machine that took on Jeopardy’s game show champions. One area where IBM is using it is to track online traffic, like online shopping data.

Black Friday, the name retail marketers gave to the day after Thanksgiving, is historically one of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year, Cyber Monday eclipsed its Black Friday counterpart.

While there were more people shopping online yesterday than in previous years, they were spending a little less.

According to IBM, the average order for online shoppers yesterday totaled $123.43. That’s down 0.6% from 2014 when the average shopper spent $124.21.

What were people buying? Watson found that shoppers most often ordered Nike shoes, toy Star Wars droids, hoverboards, the Apple Watch and flat-screen TVs.

To find and order what they wanted, shoppers more frequently used their mobile devices.

IBM reported that mobile traffic nearly matched that of people checking out online sales from their desktops. Mobile traffic accounted for 47.9 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 16.3% over 2014.

People aren’t totally ditching their desktops, though.

While many shoppers use their mobile devices to check out products and prices while they’re on the road, they’re also using their devices to buy gifts.

This year, 27.6% of all Cyber Monday sales came from mobile devices, an increase of 25.7% over the same day in 2014.

And, according to Watson, more people are shopping with their smartphones than with their tablets.

Smartphones made up 36.8% of all online traffic, more than three times that of tablets, which came in at 11.1%. Smartphones also edged out tablets in purchases, driving 15.2% of online sales, which is up nearly 70% over 2014. Tablets came in at 12.4% of sales.

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