According to a US study by IBM, Cyber Monday (2nd December 2013) saw a 20.6% increase in online sales, making it the biggest online shopping day in history. This is great news for the retail industry and adds to the predictions for 2014 which positions online as the way forward for many brands and industries.

Compared to Cyber Monday last year, mobile sales increased by a substantial 55%, accounting for 17% of sales, while smartphones were the top browsing device choice, driving 19.7% of all online traffic. Although this was lower for tablets (11.5%), when it came to making the actual sale, these devices drove 11.7% of all online sales, more than double the 5.5% accounted for by smartphones, the report found.

Looking at the social influence, IBM revealed that on average, holiday shoppers referred from Facebook spent 6% more per order than shoppers who were referred from Pinterest on Cyber Monday. Perhaps this is down to the latter social channel being more of a personal scrapbook, a virtual space to collect and collate ideas as opposed to pinning with the intention of purchasing. Facebook, meanwhile, is perhaps still viewed as a more reliable and trusted B2C opportunity to buy from brands’ pages.

IBM found that Cyber Monday 2013 online sales were up 31.5% over Black Friday this year, although consumers spent 5% more per order on the Friday date compared to Cyber Monday. Another interesting and perhaps surprising finding is that shoppers purchased the items they added to their online shopping carts at a 12.6% higher rate on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.

Either way, both major retail days in the run-up to Christmas highlight a significant trend of digitally savvy consumers who are using their mobile and tablet devices as their essential companions in the shopping process. As we head into 2014, it will be interesting to see how these handheld devices perform and contribute to our lives.