LOS ANGELES—E-commerce sales the weekend afterThanksgiving were up 17% this year over last year, according toCBRE, and Cyber Monday alone sawan 8.5% increase in sales this year over last year. The significantincrease in sales is great news for the industrial market, whichwill serve e-commerce sites that need to store products and processonline sales.

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Over Thanksgiving weekend, the average online order size was$124. Although Cyber Monday saw a nice increase in sales volume,the increase was significantly smaller than the 20.6% increasebetween 2012 and 2013. This is perhaps because Cyber Monday hasbecome a week of cyber sales. Over the five-day cyber week, saleswere up 12.6%. “The shift from single day events—Black Friday andCyber Monday—to a longer term event—Cyber Week—is significant inthat it illustrates a little bit of the evolution of the retailermindset,” Gary Baragona, director of research andanalysis at CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com. “Retailers are continuing tofind ways to give the customer multiple options and opportunitiesto purchase products—whether purchased from the stores or online ona single day or over the course of the full week. The customer hasmore options and retailers are benefitting with increased salesvolumes.”

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Looking at individual retailers, department store onlinecomponents reported a 17.9% increase in online sales, whileWalmart, not sharing exact numbers, said that itexperienced its most successful Cyber Monday to date. Thesebrick-and-mortar retailers were able to reap the benefits of onlineshopping and in-store shopping by developing omni-channelstrategies. “It's not a one versus the other scenario—meaningonline sales versus brick and mortar sales. A successful retaileris going to evolve their strategy to include all avenues for theconsumer to purchase their products,” says Baragona. “Retailers areimplementing an omni-channel retail strategy that focuses onensuring a seamless customer experience, offering the ability tobuy a product anywhere at any time and on any device. Although inmany cases, this strategy may shift the point of sale away from theshowroom floor to fulfillment centers, it allows a retailer toprovide a positive customer experience and lead to higher sales andrepeat business.”

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This increase in spending will have a significant effect onindustrial sales throughout the nation. This year alone, e-commerceusers leased more than 35 million square feet in industrialfacilities, and CBRE expects at least that amount in 2015,especially with the increase in online sales. “The growth of onlinesales is continuing to spur an increase in demand for e-commerceusers,” says Baragona. In order to keep up with the growing demand,e-commerce companies are making significant investments in theirsupply chain, including newer, larger and more state-of-the-artfacilitates near major metropolitan areas. This is having asignificant impact on new development projects as more and morerequirements are coming to market from e-commerce users.” At theend of last year, CBRE likewise predicted that industrialabsorption would be up through 2014. With e-commerce fuelingdemand, it is clear that industrial demand will continue to bestrong in the coming year.

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In addition to fueling industrial demand, there are alsosignificant economic benefits. Aside from the obvious benefit ofconsumer spending, UPS and FedExhave also announced that they will add a combined total of 150,000seasonal jobs due to the increased holiday demand. That is twicethe number of seasonal jobs that they offered last year.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.