U.S. online sales return to a growth pattern over the Thanksgiving weekend, growing 4% and reaching $35.27 billion in web sales and beating 2020’s record of $34.36 billion in Cyber 5 web sales, according to Adobe Analytics.

U.S. online sales over the critical Cyber 5 period (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) returned to a growth pattern for online merchants, growing 4% year over year, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Online sales reached $35.27 billion, which is 4.0% higher than 2021’s down year of $33.90 billion. It’s also 2.65% higher than 2020’s record year of $34.36 billion.

Adobe’s data is based on 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.

Retail analysts note that the weekend’s online sales figures are good news for online retailers.


“Given the macroeconomic climate, this is very encouraging for online retailers,” says Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “It shows resilient ecommerce spending, and consumers’ capacity to drive reasonable growth, when competitive discounts are made available.”

Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales statistics

Cyber Monday is still the largest online sales day in the U.S., with web sales reaching $11.3 billion in 2022, according to Adobe data. Black Friday is second largest at $9.12 billion, and Thanksgiving third with $5.29 billion.

Cyber Monday also was one of the faster-growing days of the five-day period, at 5.8% year over year. Only the previous Sunday beat it out, growing 6.1% year over year. Black Friday was the slowest growing online sales day, at 2.2% growth year over year.


Cyber Monday also increased its share of sales over the five-day period, generating 32.0% of sales over the weekend. That’s up from 31.5% in 2021. In contrast, both Black Friday and Thanksgiving lost share in 2022, after gaining share in 2021. Black Friday brought in 25.9% of the Cyber 5’s sales and Thanksgiving 15.0%.

Record number of shoppers over Cyber 5

Traditionally, Black Friday is the start of the holiday shopping season. But with merchants announcing their deals in October, many consumers shop and browse weeks before Thanksgiving, says National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay. In fact, 26% of consumers say they start holiday shopping before September. 18% say they start in September/October, and 26% say the start in early November, according to a Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights survey of 1,088 online shoppers.


“We know people are starting earlier, and that was certainly true this year as well,” Shay says. “So Thanksgiving weekend, which once upon a time really was the kickoff of the holiday season, is now a bit more of a midway point or maybe beginning of the end of the shopping season as opposed to the first true day.”

And shoppers came out in droves. The NRF reported 196.7 million consumers shopped online and in stores over the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday period. This “exceeded and shattered” the NRF’s expectation and is 9.4% higher than last year (179.8 million shoppers).

Specific to online, 130.2 million consumers shopped online over the Cyber 5. That’s up 2% from nearly 128 million online shoppers in 2021. NRF’s data is based on a consumer survey of 3,326 adult consumers over the Thanksgiving weekend, conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

“All of that really reflects this pent-up demand of all of us as social creatures to be back out, to be doing things in person and gathering and traveling and enjoying the traditions and the experiences of the holiday season,” Shay says.


Data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, the retail analytics arm of credit card company Mastercard, finds this as well.  Online spending increased 12.5% year over year, and in-store sales grew 10.5% year over year. Restaurant spending grew 23.3% year over year for the four-day period of Nov. 24-27, which is Thanksgiving through Sunday.

“Not only did consumers get their holiday shopping in this weekend, but they also dined out with family and friends,” says Michelle Meyer, North America chief cconomist at Mastercard Economics Institute.

2022 Cyber 5 was the year of the discount

Retailers heavily discounted merchandise during the Cyber 5.

Between Nov. 22-28, which is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, the average online discount rate was 30% in the U.S., according to data from ecommerce platform provider Salesforce Inc. which is based on 1.5 billion global shoppers. Salesforce declined to share how many shoppers are based in the U.S., but it says its software is used on 24 of the top 30 U.S. online retailers.


Although many merchants ran promotions throughout November, many shoppers waited for the deep discounts of the Thanksgiving weekend to make purchases, according to Salesforce.

“Online retailers offered discounts early and consumers held out until the last minute, but in the end, they did show up,” says Rob Garf, vice president and general manager at Salesforce. “Our data shows an incredibly strong correlation between discount rates and digital sales, as consumers held out for the biggest and best deals.”

And the discounts early in the season were not enough to pull dollars away from the Cyber 5 weekend, which helped drive even more sales in Thanksgiving, both Salesforce and Adobe say. For example, the discounts in mid-October and early November were in the 5% to 15% range, and they dropped to 15% to 34% off discounts around Thanksgiving, Adobe’s Pandya says.

“This helped the major Cyber 5 days such as Black Friday, Super Sunday, and Cyber Monday see added lift in spending, and cement them, further, as strong seasonal days for online shopping,” Pandya says.


Discounts peaked on Cyber Monday and exceeded discount levels from Cyber Monday 2021 in the following categories:

  • Electronics: 25% off list price compared with 8% in 2021
  • Toys: 34% off vs. 19% in 2021
  • Computers: 20% off vs. 10%
  • Television: 17% off vs 11%
  • Apparel: 18% vs. 13%
  • Sporting goods: 10% vs. 6%
  • Furniture: 8% vs. 2%
  • Appliances: 16% vs. 4%

Mobile shopping results over the Cyber 5

Mobile devices generated the majority of sales over the Cyber 5, at 51%, for the first time during the Cyber 5. That’s up from 46% of sales during the 2021 Cyber 5, according to Adobe. Thanksgiving set a record with 55% of online sales from mobile, up from 51% mobile sales on Thanksgiving 2021. Cyber Monday reached 43% mobile sales this year, up from 40% in 2021.

Outlook for remainder of 2022 holiday shopping season

Consumer behavior over the Thanksgiving weekend is typically a good barometer for the entire holiday season, says NRF’s Shay.

From an inventory perspective, Shay says the major retailers he speaks with feel like they are in a good place for the remainder of the holiday season, and better than the situation six to eight months ago, Shay says.


Even though shoppers are heavily impacted by discounts, the weekend’s results have analysts encouraged for the remainder of the 2022 holiday season.

“We are seeing persistent online spend momentum, and that consumers are heavily influenced by discounts this holiday season, which makes sense when inflation is impacting their day-to-day spend,” Adobe’s Pandya says. “While spend on isolated days should decrease compared to Cyber Week, we expect that consumers will continue to make purchases throughout the end of December.”

Adobe says from Nov. 1-28, consumers spent $107.7 billion online, which is up 8.7% year over year. Adobe projects online sales will increase 2.75% year over year for the entire holiday season.

For all of November and December, Digital Commerce 360 projects online holiday sales to grow 6.1% year over year.


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