Despite COVID-19, shoppers spent at record levels on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and retailers offered great deals.

Prasanna Dhungel, co-founder and managing partner of GrowByData

Prasanna Dhungel, co-founder and managing partner of GrowByData

This year’s holiday season is upon us, although it looks and feels vastly different because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, what didn’t change were the deals and promotions retailers offered during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Shoppers try to make the most of these promotions and deals by doing their holiday shopping for gifts, decorations, household products, electronics, and more. With restrictions on traveling and large gatherings in most of the country this year, shoppers are likely to spend less on travel and more on gifts for their loved ones to boost the holiday spirit.

According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday spending rose 15.1% year over year, with spending reaching almost $10.8 billion. Adobe also reported that spending rose nearly 22% year over year to $9 billion on Black Friday.

Over the years, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gone from one-day events to multiple days, to a week-long “Cyber Week.” This year, Black Friday sales started in early November. How early did this year’s deals start, and when did they reach their peak? The answer is in the following data collected and analyzed from over 12,500 keywords across 17 retail categories, around half a million ads, with special promotions from over 3,000 different retailers.


The deals trend

Viewing the overall promotional trends for Black Friday versus Cyber Monday in the graph below, special offers for Black Friday started much earlier than for Cyber Monday. The number of Cyber Monday promotions increased steeply on the day (Nov. 30), then declined almost equally as fast. Black Friday deals started early in the month and ramped up during the week of Black Friday.

A view into the popularity of specific promotions for these two events, the terms “Black Friday Sale” and “Get 25% Off or More on Select Products” were used by 13% of retailers, making it the most popular promotion for Black Friday. Almost a quarter of retailers provided 25% discounts during this period.

There seemed to be more of a variety in the special offers found for Cyber Monday. The most popular offering by a slight margin was “15% Off for Cyber Monday,” with 10% of retailers using this promotion. “Cyber Sale—40% Off Sitewide” was the second-most-popular promotion choice among retailers, with 9.5% using it.

The apparel and accessories category had the most ads with special offers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In second place for Black Friday promotions were the religious and ceremonial category. The category with the second-highest number of Cyber Monday promotions was arts and entertainment.

Finally, a view into which retailers specifically had the largest number of overall ads containing special promotions during the two deal days. Lorex Technology, a company specializing in security cameras and systems for homes, had the most ads with special offers for Black Friday. Conversely, Adidas had the most significant number of ads containing special offers for Cyber Monday.


In conclusion

Despite the country continuing to be severely impacted by COVID19, with new lockdowns announced daily, shoppers’ holiday spirit still seems to be alive and well. Shoppers spent at record levels on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Retailers provided shoppers with great deals, making the shopping experience extremely safe and convenient for shoppers. Happy holidays!

GrowByData, an enterprise retail data platform that offers competitive data for merchandising, advertising, pricing, channel management and corporate strategy.