It’s that wonderful time of year again folks and fall is truly in the air! Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, NFL football, hayrides, beautiful leaves falling from the trees, and most importantly us nailing our annual Cyber Monday predictions are a few of the many delights of November. This year we are taking it a step further. Instead of making a prediction for only Cyber Monday, we are going to also predict sales figures for the duration of Cyber Week. We have compiled data, done our homework, put it into our fancy calculator, and feel as though we are equipped to provide you with an accurate prediction regarding total sales as well as items and stores to keep a close eye on. If history is any indication, we think these numbers will be pretty close. So let’s get to it!
Even though we have been covering Cyber Monday for 4 years now, looking at the total online spending on the day by year still amazes us. What started off as a $608 million dollar sales day in 2006 skyrocketed to a $1.465 billion sales day in 2012! What is even more exciting is the steady growth that we are seeing every single year. Even with the new trend of online Black Friday spending, Thanksgiving deals, pre Cyber Monday shopping, and Cyber Week, more and more people are going online on Cyber Monday to find deals and save money. This tells us that in spite of all of the other opportunities that consumers have to spend their money during the holiday shopping season, they are still making Cyber Monday a huge part of their plan.
As our website, competing websites, and retail stores have fine tuned the mobile and tablet versions of their websites, shoppers are finding it even easier to do their Cyber Monday and Cyber Week shopping anywhere. Work, school, the gym, on the other side of the world, it doesn’t matter! As long as you have an Internet connection, you can take part in the shopping frenzy. So more potential shoppers equals more possible sales. More possible sales means more total dollars spent.
As with last year, our website’s traffic is up 14% when compared to this time in 2012. Our mailing list opt-ins are higher, we receive more e-mails from shoppers asking questions, and the buzz just seems to be that much more prevalent. Searches across Google, Bing, and Yahoo are also up again. As we are in close contact with many of the largest stores, we are seeing that their internal discussions regarding their deals have started much earlier and their plans are more comprehensive.
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Cyber Monday: 2012 saw a 17% increase in sales from 2011 as sales went from $1.251 billion to $1.465. We see no reason why this total sales number will not see another significant jump for 2013. We were a bit surprised that the jump was as high as it was. The percentage change can’t possibly be 17% or higher again from 2012 to 2013 right? If we were betting men, we would take the under but nothing would shock us at this point.
We see total sales for 2013 coming out to $1.675 billion (give or take a few dollars of course). Doing the math, you will see this comes out to a 14.3% increase. While this is almost 3% less than the 17% increase that we saw last year, we feel as though the percentage increases are going to be difficult to top as the years go on. In spite of this, we can safely say that total sales will continue to grow every single year.
Cyber Week: Ah the wonderful concept of Cyber Week. Cyber Monday wasn’t enough so someone decided that we should do it every single day for the rest of the week. We love the idea and judging by the numbers, shoppers love it even more. A few interesting things here from ComScore:
- In 2011, Cyber Week totaled $4.928 billion in sales while Cyber Monday totaled $1.251 billion. This means that on the other 4 days counted in the data, total sales averaged $919 million dollars!
- In 2012, Cyber Week totaled $5.462 billion in sales while Cyber Monday totaled $1.465 billion. This means that on the other 4 days counted in the data, total sales averaged $999 million dollars!
This tells us that while Cyber Monday is the main day, the other days are not far behind and are receiving a significant number of sales. 2012 saw an 11% increase from 2011.
We actually see the percentage change for 2012 to 2013 rising for Cyber Week. As it is still a fairly new concept, we believe that many people are still not taking part and the potential for more shoppers is undeniable. Our research says that total sales for 2013 during Cyber Week will come out to $6.122 billion, which is a 12.08% increase. A bit slower growth than what Cyber Monday saw in its earlier years but when you are already dealing with numbers in the 6 billions, it is harder to make huge jumps.
The beautiful thing about Cyber Monday when compared to Black Friday is that it is done all online. This means that you don’t have to miss out on any doorbuster sales that require you to be at a physical location. Unfortunately this also means that instead of competing with your own town or county for the sales, you are in competition with the whole country. Here are a few of our can’t miss stores this year ranked by what we feel to be strength of deals, prices, and desirability.
Walmart: Walmart was actually a last minute change to this last as we planned on featuring Amazon for the second year in a row. After all, Walmart is the king of Black Friday and Amazon is the king of Cyber Monday. That was until we saw Walmart’s vow to have not only its biggest Black Friday ever, but its biggest 4th quarter ever! If anyone besides Walmart claimed that they are going to capture more than 50% market share than its closest competitor we would call them crazy. For some reason we believe Walmart though. Our data and other public data says that Walmart.com is rapidly growing and attracting more and more online shoppers. People that went to Amazon in the past are now considering Walmart.com as a legitimate online shopping source. As always, Walmart will offer free shipping on all orders to your home or nearest store on Cyber Monday. We expect an even larger assortment of sales on electronics, appliances, etc than previous years at even better prices after hearing their goal of a record 4th quarter.
Amazon: Amazon is again near the top of our list and for good reason. They have it all. That is not an exaggeration either. Besides extremely small niche products (which they have plenty of), you are pretty much guaranteed to find what you are looking for at Amazon.com whether it is electronics or rare collectibles. They will continue their trend of free shipping on all orders, tons of lighting deals, and other great offers doing the duration of Cyber Monday and Cyber Week for 2013.
Best Buy: Best Buy has been a staple store for holiday shopping for years now and 2013 is no exception. We are already hearing word from them about some of the high definition television, laptops, tablets, and camera deals that are scheduled to be a part of their Cyber Week sale. While we can’t give any of them away at this moment, we can tell you many of them are cant-miss items as always with Best Buy.
Apple Store: The Apple Store is new to our predictions for 2013 and we have a strong feeling that they won’t be one and done. Apple is literally everywhere and they are already gearing up for Cyber Monday. While they may not have big sales on their famous MacBooks, expect sales on smaller items such as iPods and accessories. Their name and mystique alone will make them a big player this year and this guarantees them a spot at the top of the total sales list for stores.
HP: HP is our darkhorse store this year. We have found that HP is always the most popular brand by volume of computer related electronics sold during Cyber Monday from department and electronic stores. Over the past few years, HP has really improved their website and focused on attracting more customers to their actual site as opposed to just marketing their brand. From what we are hearing, this may be the best year for HP products and this is great news for all fans of the brand.
Before looking at the data, our first thought was that electronics would easily be the number one category by total growth from 2011 to 2012. Boy, were we wrong. While electronics finished 2nd at a 24% increase, digital content topped the list at a massive 28% increase! As the name Cyber Monday implies, we guess it makes sense that people are buying digital goods! We expect that trend to continue for 2013 and believe that digital content will see a 31% increase from 2012. As more people are buying their music, movies, and books online, we will only see traditional books, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray disc sales decline.
HDTVs: Televisions are looking at another monster year this holiday season and that is why they are first on our list. With television getting better and better from shows such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, more and more people are opting to stay at home and watch TV instead of going to the movies. Also sports, documentaries, streaming movies, and video games are a few of the other major reasons why owning a high quality television is absolutely crucial in this day and age.
While sales will be available for pretty much every brand and every size television, it is important that you don’t jump the gun. Many times a top level television that is being featured will have certain features stripped so that it really isn’t that great of a deal in the end. Our rule of thumb is to stick to middle level brands and read all of the fine print for deals on premium brands. This is not to say that you won’t find the perfect unit from Sony at the right price, but you may have to get lucky as the competition will be fierce and supplies will be limited.
Traditionally, we have seen HDTVs in the 30-40 inch range going for the best prices and being most popular among shoppers. They have been fairly priced at $150 for the mid to lower tier brands and $250-$300 for the upper tier brands. We recommend keeping a close eye on Amazon’s HDTV section for their lighting deals, as they always seem to have the most diverse and best-priced selection.
Tablets: Tablets are 2nd on our list this year and for the first time ahead of laptops. With the surge of different tablets and smart phones, less and less people are buying traditional laptop and retailers are taking notice. The gorgeous iPad with Retina Display, the Samsung Galaxy, the Microsoft Surface, the Google Nexus, and the Amazon Kindle are our top picks for the most popular tablets this Cyber Monday. Whether or not all of these will be on sale is a different story. In the past, we have seen previous models of these tablets at great prices and this is something to consider. Many times, previous models have all of the features that the new model has and you can get them for much cheaper. The exception is the Amazon Kindle HD whose newest model has been on sale.
All of this may change this year as the total number of tablet manufacturers is growing rapidly. Apple is no longer a monopoly in this industry so they really don’t have as much room to stick to firm prices on their iPad as they did in the past. It is Apple though so people may but their products regardless but other manufactures don’t have that same luxury so keep your eyes open!
Laptops: While not what they once were, laptops are still a top and highly sought after item on Cyber Monday. Even though a smart phone or tablet can do many of the same things, there is nothing like sitting down with your laptop to watch a movie, play a game, or write a paper or report. As with HDTVs, the price variation between brands and models is huge. If you are looking for a MacBook Pro or the highest performance gaming laptop from ASUS, don’t expect a huge discount. You can find a fast and reliable model from a trusted brand that will complete all of the basic tasks that the majority of users will require.
HP, Dell, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart are our top stores to keep an eye on if you need a new laptop. The first 2 are brands so if you are specifically looking for an HP or Dell unit, we recommend checking out their sites first. If you don’t see what you want after visiting their stores or just want another brand, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart always have a ton of laptop deals. We have seen sales as low as 5% off to as high as 59% off. Unless the laptop is marked as a lighting deal or specifically says limited quantity, we wouldn’t rush into any purchases until you browse all of your options as most laptop sales will be similar when you look at the fine details.
Video Games: The 2013 holiday season promises to be an exciting time for gamers. With the release of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, this holiday season is going to be one of the biggest for console and game sales. Don’t plan on getting a discount for an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 though. You may not even get one at all as quantities are extremely limited and there is always the chance of a shortage.
What you can expect to find deals on are previous consoles and bundles, games, and accessories. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 still have a ton of exciting games and are available at the lowest prices that they have ever been. Consoles are under $200 and bundles are under $250. If you were lucky enough to pre-order a PS4 or Xbox One, you may see sales on games, controllers, and other accessories. It really all depends on availability at this point.
Cameras: Cameras are a new addition to our list and come in as the 5th most sought after item for 2013. After a slight hiccup a few years ago, their popularity is again increasing. We guess people have realized that an iPhone or other smart phone camera really doesn’t get the job done as good as all of us hoped.
Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm are by far the most discounted camera brands on Cyber Monday with prices being sliced by as much as 45%. The average camera discount has ranged between 12-25% and we expect this trend to continue for 2013.
While the following statistics and predictions shouldn’t directly influence your shopping, they are interesting and fun to read.
Shopping By Location: Until our dream of Cyber Monday becoming a federal holiday comes to fruition, we see a pretty even split between home and work. The wildcard is the international market. In 2012, 47.2% of consumers shopped at home while 47.1% shopped at work. The other 5.7% came from international shoppers. We see a few things changing here:
- International sales are sure to increase. Expect to see percentage of international shoppers increase anywhere from 1-3 percent.
- The percentage of people shopping from home will slightly increase. As they now have a full week to take advantage of deals instead of a single day, we feel as though people will be a little less eager to do all of their shopping while at work. Expect a 1-2% increase in home shoppers
We are extremely excited for this year’s holiday shopping season, as we know it is going to be one of the best. All indications point to more people taking of advantage of Cyber Monday and Cyber Week shopping than ever as well as online holiday shopping in general. As always, do your research beforehand as many of the deals are leaked early, plan a budget, and don’t stress yourself out. Cyber Monday shopping is supposed to be an enjoyable experience!
Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Authors: Phillip Dengler and Eric Jones