Cyber Monday spending reaches nearly $2 billion

Over the past few years, retailers have been trying to extend the duration of the Black Friday holiday shopping period. Most recently, many merchants began opening on Thursday afternoon to target customers fresh off their big turkey dinners. However, in years prior, retailers have seen the rise of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday as well. The latter two holidays celebrate smaller merchants and digital retailers, respectively.

The approach seems to be working, with many consumers spending more money consistently throughout the shopping weekend. New data from comScore suggested that nearly $2 billion was spent by consumers on Cyber Monday this year, with the final tally cresting the $1.7 billion mark.

Over the past few years, retailers have been trying to extend the duration of the Black Friday holiday shopping period.

Compared to last year, that's a significant 18 percent gain from $1.4 billion.

"Any notion that Cyber Monday is declining in importance appears to be completely unfounded as its strong year-over-year growth rate of 18 percent resulted in yet another record for online spending in a single day," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

"While it's true that many retailers are bleeding their Cyber Monday promotions into the weekend before and the days afterward, Cyber Monday itself continues to be the most important day of the online holiday shopping season," he added.

Responding to the increased demand
Make no mistake: The fact that people are shopping more feverishly across a long time span is great news for any retailer. According to comScore, Americans spent more than $5.2 billion between Thanksgiving Thursday and Cyber Monday. That's nearly $1 billion more than they spent last year, which was observed at $4.3 billion.

However, having more shopping holidays does create more pressure for retailers. They not only need to be creating lucrative sales and discounts for the duration of the weekend, they also need to maximize their ability to manage their inventories. Imagine running out of stock of key items on the Saturday before Cyber Monday – that could be potentially thousands of dollars lost as a result.

Merchants should make the upgrade to the eCommerce software that fits their operations most effectively. When retailers operate a variety of venues – whether it's multiple online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon or across channels with brick-and-mortar and Web stores – it can be difficult to keep track of inventory. This can lead to shortages in some areas, even though they have stock readily available in others.

A comprehensive eCommerce solution can be used to consolidate all of these channels and storefronts, making it easier for merchants to manage their inventories – particularly during peak time frames. Having access to this type of real-time information improves their ability to respond to shortages, on top of taking other proactive actions to make the most out of their inventories and maximize their revenue.

During peak periods, retailers need to be effectively managing their inventories, and the right eCommerce software allows them to do just that.