UPDATE 3-Cyber Monday sales best ever, for Amazon's Kindle too

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:22pm EST

* Cyber Monday sales up 30.3 percent over 2011 - IBM
    * Amazon says its Kindle devices had biggest sales day ever
    * ChannelAdvisor says client sales growth stronger on eBay
than Amazon


    By Alistair Barr
    Nov 27 (Reuters) - Internet sales jumped more than 30
percent on Cyber Monday, making it the biggest online shopping
day ever, according to data released on Tuesday.  
    Walmart.com, the online division of Walmart U.S., had its
best sales day in history, a spokeswoman said. 
    Cyber Monday also was a record day for sales of Amazon.com
Inc's Kindle devices, the online retailer said, without
specifying the number sold.
    Still, eBay Inc, operator of one of the largest
online marketplaces, outperformed its arch rival Amazon.com over
the crucial first five days of the holiday shopping season,
according to one closely watched measure. 
    Cyber Monday has been the biggest online shopping day in
recent years, as workers return to offices and make holiday
purchases on their computers. This year, the boom in smart phone
and tablet adoption has added extra fuel to online shopping. 
    Cyber Monday sales online jumped 30.3 percent from the same
day last year, according to International Business Machines Corp
, which analyzes transactions from 500 U.S. retailers.
    Mobile devices accounted for 18 percent of visits to
retailer websites and 13 percent of sales on Cyber Monday. That
was up 70 percent and 96 percent, respectively, compared with
the same day last year, IBM reported.
    To that end, Walmart.com said Cyber Monday online traffic
from Walmart's mobile apps jumped 280 percent versus a year ago.
    On Monday, when retailers offered big Cyber Monday online
deals, web shopping peaked at 11:25 a.m. EST (1625 GMT), IBM
said. That timing suggests shoppers continue to check out online
offers while still at work, even though more people have
high-speed Internet access at home than in previous years.   
    
    AMAZON'S KINDLE DEAL
    Amazon.com cut the price of its 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet by
$30 to $129 on Monday, and it was the company's most successful
Cyber Monday deal ever, the retailer said.
    Nine of the top 10 best-selling products on Amazon.com have
been Kindles, Kindle accessories and digital content since the
company unveiled new devices on Sept. 6, it said.
 
    Worldwide sales of Kindle devices more than doubled during
the Thanksgiving weekend from the 2011 period, Amazon said.
    "Demand for Kindle Fire is stronger than expected," said
Chad Bartley, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "This
suggests Amazon is competing effectively against Apple and
Google in the near term, and increased device ownership could
drive sales of digital media and physical products over the long
term."
    Bartley raised his estimate for fourth-quarter Kindle
Fire unit sales to 8 million from 5.5 million and increased his
forecast for Amazon's fourth-quarter revenue to $22.75 billion
from $22.25 billion.
    Shares of Amazon closed down almost 0.1 percent at $243.40
on Nasdaq. Stock in Wal-Mart Stores Inc shed 0.6 percent
to close at $69.50.
    
    A FIRST FOR EBAY
    Still, eBay sales may have outperformed Amazon during the
early part of the holiday shopping season, according to
ChannelAdvisor, which helps third-party merchants sell more via
websites including eBay.com and Amazon.com.
    ChannelAdvisor data excludes sales specifically by Amazon,
so the data does not capture Kindle device revenue and many
other transactions. About 60 percent of Amazon's unit sales are
generated by the company itself, while 40 percent come from
third parties operating on its platform.
    ChannelAdvisor said client sales - sales generated by
third-party merchants using the company's service - soared 55.2
percent on eBay.com on Cyber Monday from a year earlier. That
was about five times faster than last year's growth.
    For the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber
Monday, which ChannelAdvisor calls the "Cyber Five," client
sales on eBay.com rose 38.3 percent compared with the same days
in 2011. 
    ChannelAdvisor said client sales on Amazon.com jumped 42.4
percent on Cyber Monday compared with a year earlier. Over the
"Cyber Five," client sales on Amazon.com rose 37.7 percent, the
firm said. 
    This is the first time since at least 2007 that client sales
on eBay.com have grown faster than client sales via Amazon.com
during the holiday season, according to Scot Wingo, chief
executive of ChannelAdvisor. The firm started tracking this in
2007, he noted. 
    EBay shares lost 0.5 percent to close at $51.15 on Tuesday.
The stock rose almost 5 percent to a new multi-year high on
Monday after ChannelAdvisor released its early Cyber Monday
results.
    EBay's holiday advertising campaign, which included TV
commercials, likely attracted more shoppers to its online
marketplace, Wingo said.
    EBay was also "aggressive" with holiday promotions and gift
guides, and the company's category-specific websites focused on
things like fashion and electronics, were well integrated with
the broader holiday promotions, unlike last year, Wingo
explained. 
    However, the main driver may have been mobile shopping, an
area in which eBay and its payments division PayPal invested
early and heavily, Wingo added. 
    "With less than 10 percent of commerce coming from mobile
devices and far higher levels ahead, we believe this trend will
carry eBay Marketplace and PayPal for the next few years," Gil
Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to
investors on Tuesday.
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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