Well, this is awkward. Data released by IBM and Adobe provide wildly different takes on whether Cyber Monday in the U.S. was a big success for retailers or a big disappointment.
According to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark, U.S. online sales grew a paltry 8 percent on Monday, versus expectations they would grow 13 percent to 15 percent. Riffing off these numbers, IBMers concluded that there’s a big shift underway in terms of how people shop over the holiday weekend: Cyber Monday and Black Friday just don’t matter as much.
“Consumers are not holding back their purchases for deals on certain days anymore and that trend is becoming increasingly clear,” Jay Henderson, a strategy program director at IBM, told Reuters.
Ah, but wait! The good folks at Adobe beg to differ. According to Adobe’s 2014 Digital Index Online Shopping data, online sales in the U.S. were $2.65 billion, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2013.
“Cyber Monday sales were up 16 percent this year, with the biggest retailers seeing the biggest gains,” Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for the Adobe Digital Index, said in a press release. “The early birds caught the worms on Cyber Monday, with shoppers getting the steepest discounts in the early morning hours.”
So which analysis is correct? Stay tuned.
This is an early read one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Expect more data to be released throughout the day that could bring the situation into sharper focus.
Because for now, we’re left with a pretty muddy picture.