Reporting on retail results for the opening weekend of the 2015 holiday shopping season took on a variety interpretations, ranging from “bleak” in the view of a Forbes.com columnist, to “record breaking” in terms of online purchasing, according to Adobe.com.
For Cyber Monday (November 30), CO-OP Financial Services found activity to be somewhere in the middle. The company reported 9,421,258 transactions processed, including debit, credit, ATM and branch services, a figure slightly higher than in 2014.
A few key moments:
- 775,455 transactions were processed during the peak hour, 8 a.m. Eastern.
- 14,918 transactions were processed during the peak minute, 10:27 a.m. Eastern.
- 258 transactions were processed at 10:24:45 a.m. Eastern, the busiest second of the day.
“This bodes well for December retail buying, since we had a record breaking year in 2014 with more than 3 billion transactions, a figure we expect to surpass in 2015,” says Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP.
In addition to the transaction totals, CO-OP’s data analytics tool, CO-OP Revelation, powered by Saylent, revealed a raft of merchant-specific data, with research conducted by Saylent’s FInsights360 consulting team.
The merchants who did the best on Cyber Monday 2015 compared to the previous year are the ones you might expect. Computer Network Services led all merchant types with a whopping 261 percent increase. Consumers were busy – and hungry – on November 30 judging from the 15 percent increase for Fast Food Restaurants and 14 percent rise for Eating Places and Restaurants. Consumers were also in either a do-it-yourself or reflective mode, with Home Supply Warehouse Stores recording a 14 percent gain, and Book Stores showing 12 percent more transaction volume.
The rising importance of Cyber Monday is part of a greater shift in holiday spending habits. Black Friday has now expanded into a long holiday kickoff weekend that begins on Thanksgiving day and lasts through the following Monday. Modes of shopping are evolving too: This year’s comScore Cyber Monday figures included $838 million in mobile spending – a 53 percent increase over 2014.
Increased on-line and emerging payments activity inevitably raises questions about security. Among CO-OP’s holiday security tips for credit unions: promote security technologies such as EMV, tokenization and card controls; maintain fraud detection and analytics; and educate members about security risks.
These tips will come in handy as holiday season 2015 continues to move into high gear. CO-OP transactions often peak as Christmas day draws closer, with CO-OP typically experiencing the highest volumes of the year on December 24. On Christmas Eve 2014, for instance, transactions for that day reached a single-day record of 10,327,641 transactions.