Back in 2005, when Cyber Monday was launched (and coined the now ubiquitous moniker), it ended up being only the 10th biggest online shopping day of the year. A year later, it dropped to 12th place.

Have times changed.

cyber monday

According to comScore’s just-released numbers, 2013’s Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history. That’s a whole lot of ecommerce going on.

So how big was it? comScore reports that Cyber Monday jumped 18% from last year and brought in a hefty $1.735 billion in sales from desktop sales alone. And with Black Friday’s haul of $1.198 billion, this makes the second day this season of over a billion bucks in online sales.

And the weekend numbers leading up to Cyber Monday were equally impressive, raking in a cool $1.594 billion for a 34% increase from the same weekend last year. This online uptick is in contrast to brick-and-mortar retail sales, which incurred its first decline in Black Friday weekend sales since 2009.

As for the entire five-day stretch from Thanksgiving through this record-breaking Cyber Monday, online buying from desktops jumped 22% to a total of $5.3 billion.

Here are some other highlights from the five-day period, culled from over 160 million sessions to more than 150 leading ecommerce websites:

  • Year-over-year average order value (AOV) increased 13.51% to $165.57
  • Conversion rates rose 21.07% to 4.05%
  • Revenue was up 49.94%
  • The biggest gains came from tablet devices, with a 81.07% jump in traffic and 170.09% increase in revenue
  • Referral traffic from search increased 20.21%, while social networks brought 16.51% more traffic. Email referral traffic was down 37%.

Why the big numbers? It could be because of showrooming—a trending practice where shoppers browse in physical stores but then go online to make the actual purchases.

But most likely, it’s because retailers are wisening up and realizing that they need to incentivize shoppers where it matters most—their wallets. According to The National Retail Federation, eight in 10 retailers offered special Cyber Monday deals—and clearly the low prices and aggressive promos made their mark.

The NRF predicts that all in, 167 million Americans will go bargain hunting on the web this holiday season, spending $82 billion—up 15% from last year. It’s an awe-inspiring amount of ecommerce money up for grabs, and it’s only getting bigger.

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