Attack of the Drones: Amazon Shakes up Cyber Monday

Amazon made headlines over the weekend when its CEO Jeff Bezos announced his dream to deliver orders to customers' doorsteps via unmanned drones. The story broke on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, and although the 1984 imagery was impressive, the technology and more importantly the governmental regulations are not in place to make such a goal a least not yet.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates the nation's skies and currently has no regulations in place that would allow for unmanned aircraft. The federal government has charged the FAA with putting some sort of regulation on the books by 2015, but the agency is currently behind schedule. Even if the new regulations could be written and approved by the 2015 deadline it is unlikely that the new rules would allow for a fleet of unmanned drones buzzing overhead. Bezos' dream is just that at this point, but Amazon is definitely on to something here and will likely be on the forefront of the technology when the use of such delivery drones is eventually approved.

Cyber Monday could take on a new feel in the future when the swipe of a finger or click of the mouse could set in motion an unmanned delivery that could be in the customers' hand in the matter of minutes. With such wizardly likely at least a decade away, let's turn our attention from the future to the present and take a look at Cyber Monday 2013's results.
  • Cyber Monday Data.Cyber Monday 2015 was the biggest online shopping day in history according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark's. Sales grew by 20.6% over last year. The average order was valued at $128.77, a 1% drop from 2012. Mobile traffic rose to 31.7% of all online traffic, a 45% increase over last year.  According to the report, Cyber Monday outperformed online sales on Black Friday by 31.5%, however customers spend 5% more per order online on Black Friday.
  • Customers Propose Website Improvements. tested the Top 10 of NRF's Favorite 50 2013 to find out how their shopping carts performed and top reasons for cart abandonment. According to the research the features that needed the most improvement were: shipping costs (21%), registering to make a purchase (20%), trust symbols (17%), access to customer service (12%), and payment method options (9%). On a scale of 1 to 5 — with 1 being very likely and 5 being highly unlikely — survey respondents averaged a score of 3.5 when asked the likeliness they would leave a site based on a feature that needed improvement.
  • Online Slow Downs. Keynote tracked the online shopping experience of 13 popular sites, and reported quite a few slowdowns during Cyber Monday. HP’s desktop performance began slowing down significantly starting at 3:00 a.m. Pacific on Cyber Monday. At 3:00 p.m. transactions were about 30% slower than they were 24 hours earlier. Most of the slowdown was experienced during the search process and the add to cart steps. Sony Style on the desktop also had a major performance slowdown from about 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. The product details page became very slow (sometimes taking 80-90 seconds); other pages were performing as normal. The Sony Style tablet measurement had a high error rate — primarily attributed to timeouts at the 300 second mark. Overstock on the desktop had a big performance drop around 9:15. Any user trying to use the category and product details pages suffered slow response time. The performance of Office Depot’s smartphone site took a hit at roughly 8:00 a.m. Best Buy tablet pages delivered a very high error rate due to timeouts. The problem originates from a desktop-optimized site trying to load over a mobile network. The Best Buy smartphone site is not seeing these issues with timeouts.
For related content:
4 Ways to Get Inside Online Customer Minds This Holiday
Amazon Launches New Deal Every 10 Minutes
5 Tips to Maximize Cyber Monday Sales and Shopper Satisfaction
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds