Sales at the performance marketing network for Cyber Monday on December 3 last year were up by 49% across the company, compared to the previous year’s date of December 5 2011. Similar increases are forecasted for 2013.

Smartphones and tablets are set to be a key driver for the company on Cyber Monday, with Rakuten LinkShare data revealing it managed a 14% share of total sales across the network in 2012.

Of the mobile sales, 78% were completed on a tablet. Rakuten Marketing suggests this is completely down to the visual shopping experience, which makes the hardware an ideal outlet to engage shoppers with dynamic content.

December is not just Cyber Monday

Whilst Cyber Monday attracts all the headlines because of its substantial sales spike, Rakuten Marketing managing director, Mark Haviland, suggests marketers should be maintaining focus throughout the rest of December too.

“Retailers shouldn’t let the ball drop after Cyber Monday or even in the period after Christmas Day. Our data shows that the volume of shoppers, the checkout value, and transactions across mobile devices all peak on different days in December, so retailers should consider how to engage with each type of shopper to increase chances of sales,” Haviland said.

The most expensive purchases made through the network in 2012 were recorded on December 12. However, there were fewer shopping than on Cyber Monday.

Rakuten Linkshare provided further evidence of a trend discussed on PerformanceIN previously: consumers browse tablets during the Christmas holidays and are coerced into making purchases by the many retailer sales.

These keen Christmas consumers contributed to a hefty, almost doubling of sales in 2012, rising by 45% year-on-year. Boxing Day was revealed by the network as being the biggest for mobile sales.