Cyber Monday sales top $3 billion, beat forecast

Robust online sales late in the day helped push Cyber Monday revenues to more than $3 billion for the first time, setting a record for a single day of online sales that also topped expectations.

According to the Adobe's Digital Index, total online sales on Cyber Monday rose 16 percent from last year, to $3.07 billion.

The software company had predicted the sales event, which is traditionally the largest online selling day of the year, would rise just 12 percent, to right around $3 billion.

Using mobile phone
Liam Norris | Cultura RM | Getty Images

Sales for the five-day period starting on Thanksgiving totaled $11.11 billion, 2.4 percent more than the expected $10.85 billion and 17 percent more than last year, Adobe said.

Mobile sales also reached a sales volume record, with $799 million of online spending coming from a smartphone or tablet, Adobe said.

The results serve as further evidence that shoppers are increasingly favoring their digital devices over physical stores, even as the majority of purchases continue to take place in bricks-and-mortar locations.

Overall, data from the five-day Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping has been uninspiring, as early price cuts and deflation weighed on results.

Data from ShopperTrak, which tracks in-store purchases, showed sales were down an estimated 10.4 percent over Black Friday weekend. Separate figures from RetailNext showed in-store sales fell 4.7 percent over the period.

But not all shopping centers are seeing declines. According to a spokeswoman from Taubman Centers, the majority of its malls over Black Friday weekend reported sales were up slightly or the same as last year.

And a spokesman for real estate firm DDR said traffic at its mainland centers was even or slightly up slightly from last year.

Online revenues, while rising at a slower rate than in years' past, are nonetheless driving the majority of retailers' growth, with Amazon leading the charge.

According to ChannelAdvisor, Amazon's Cyber Monday revenues increased 21.1 percent from last year, outperforming overall online sales growth of 18 percent.

Over the five-day Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period, Amazon's sales increased 24.1 percent, compared with a 20.9 percent increase in overall online sales.

Separately, a survey by the National Retail Federation found that 151 million Americans either shopped in stores or online over Black Friday weekend, well above the expected 136 million.

But because the trade group changed its survey methodology, it was unable to compare overall spending to 2014, when it said Black Friday weekend sales fell 11 percent.

Despite a sluggish start to holiday sales, ShopperTrak emphasized there are a lot more days left in the season.

"Seven out of the top 10 sales days still remain, and December is anticipated to be strong," ShopperTrak's Kevin Kearns said.