U.S. shoppers spent a record $9.42 billion online on Cyber Monday, according to numbers released Tuesday by Adobe Analytics, the data insights arm of software firm Adobe Inc. This 19.7% jump from $7.87 billion on Cyber Monday 2018 surpassed projections from a number of analysts and makes Cyber Monday the largest sales day in the history of U.S. ecommerce.
For the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, online sales hit $28.49 billion, up 17.7% from $24.21 billion from the same holiday weekend last year, Adobe says. The firm’s numbers are based on data from more than 1 trillion visits to more than 4,500 retail sites including transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers ranked in the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.
On average, consumers’ shopping carts were 6% bigger at checkout than last year due to a jump in the number of items purchased and higher-priced items selected, Adobe says.
Spending ramped up late into the night, too. Shoppers shelled out an average of $12.0 million a minute online between 11 p.m. to midnight Eastern on Cyber Monday, Adobe reports, and 31% of the day’s ecommerce revenue was captured in the four “golden hours” between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Eastern as consumers scrambled to take advantage of expiring sales. During that time frame, ecommerce sales swelled 24% over last year to reach a record $2.9 billion, according to Adobe.
The number of Cyber 5 online shoppers grew north of 14%
Executives at the National Retail Federation say they were “impressed and pleased” by the performance of retailers over the long retail holiday.
“It was a very solid and a very strong weekend across the board,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay told reporters during a call recapping the weekend. “We saw significant growth in the total number of holiday shoppers this year over this weekend as well as a substantial increase in the total amount spent from the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.”
A record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped over the holiday weekend—coined Cyber 5—which is a 14.3% increase from 165.8 million last year, according to survey data released Tuesday by the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“With the condensed holiday season, consumers are feeling the pressure to get their shopping done in time,” Shay says. “Even those who typically wait until the last minute to purchase gifts turned out in record numbers all weekend long.”
Nearly three-quarters of those shoppers—142.2 million—made purchases on retail websites, and 75.7 million shopped both in store and online, the NRF says. The latter group spent an average of $366.79 over the five-day period, the NRF and Prosper found, which is at least 25% more than the average spent by consumers who shopped in only one channel.
Black Friday had more online shoppers than Cyber Monday
More shoppers visited retail websites on Black Friday than Cyber Monday, making it the busiest day for online shopping for the first time ever, according to the NRF. About 93.2 million U.S. consumers visited online stores the day after Thanksgiving, compared with 83.3 million on Cyber Monday, according to the NRF.
“That’s reflective of the evolution that’s taken place both in terms of mobile offerings and the fact that you no longer have to wait until Monday to be engaged,” Shay says. “Black Friday is the day for the official kick up of holiday activity.”
Mobile sales top $3 billion on Cyber Monday
Holiday shoppers turned to their mobile devices in record numbers, with mobile transactions soaring to $3.1 billion on Cyber Monday, which Adobe says is the highest ever year-over-year dollar gain for smartphones, and the first time consumers exceeded $3 billion in smartphone purchases. This means consumers spent nearly $1 out of every $3 in online sales on a mobile device during Cyber Monday. Smartphones accounted for 54% of traffic to retail websites on Cyber Monday, a 19% year-over-year uptick, Adobe reported in its release of preliminary numbers for Dec. 2. The firm’s early data also registered smartphone sales growth of 46% on Cyber Monday.
The NRF and Prosper surveyed 6,746 consumers between Wednesday, Nov. 27, and Monday, Dec. 2, and 75% of holiday shoppers indicated they’d use their mobile device to research products, compare prices or buy online over the weekend, up from 66% last year.
So far this season, smartphones have taken a 58% share of traffic and 34.5% share, or $29 billion, of ecommerce sales, according to Adobe.
Big retailers and merchants offering BOPIS win big during the holidays
As anticipated, large retailers with more than $1 billion in annual ecommerce revenue had a bigger boost from holiday sales than smaller merchants bringing in under $50 million each year. On Cyber Monday, sales for ecommerce giants jumped 540% compared with an average day versus the 337% lift for their smaller counterparts, Adobe says. According to the firm’s overall season-to-date numbers for the Nov. 1 through mid-Dec. 2 period, large retailers have received a 71% spike in online revenue while online sales growth for smaller retailers is less than half that amount at 32%.
Digital commerce intelligence company Edison Trends reports Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Top 1000, showed the biggest year-over-year increase in consumer spending online from Small Business Saturday through Cyber Monday of the leading 10 retailers it tracked. The firm’s data, which is based on a sample of e-receipts from 500,000 online transactions accessed through the email of U.S. consumers, suggests Amazon’s sales jumped 43% for the day. That’s just ahead of Nordstrom Inc. (No. 18) with 41% growth and Walmart Inc. (No. 3) with a 40% spike.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (No. 13), marketplace Etsy Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. (No. 24) were in the middle of the pack, all with more than double the 12% year-over-year increase in spending for Macy’s Inc. (No. 5) online shoppers. Target Corp.’s (No. 16) ecommerce sales grew just 3% for the three-day period, and online revenue for the struggling J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No. 40) dipped 1%.
Amazon’s revenue once again accounted for more than half of all dollars spent online with the 10 retailers Edison Trends tracked for Small Business Saturday through Cyber Monday. This year, the retailer took a 56% market share, up from 52% for the same period in 2018.
Adobe attributes much of the success of large retailers this season to mobile shopping enhancements and strong omnichannel networks that allow them to blend physical and digital shopping. Consumers have embraced buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) services in a big way this year, with BOPIS sales increasing 40.9% year over year from Nov. 1 through Dec. 2, Adobe says. The firm’s preliminary Cyber Monday figures show a sizable 43% growth for BOPIS over the same retail holiday last year.
“Companies offering fast fulfillment options like free one-day shipping or buy online, pick up in store will be well positioned to help consumers purchase what they want in the few weeks left before Christmas,” says Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights.
Retailers improve conversion rates Cyber Monday
According to Adobe, shoppers have been 20% more likely to make a purchase with retailers that offer BOPIS over those that don’t have omnichannel capabilities so far this season. The trend is even more pronounced on big retail holidays. Conversion rates on Cyber Monday were 45% higher for merchants with BOPIS options than non-BOPIS retailers, Adobe says. The conversion rate disparity jumped to 64% on Black Friday, the firm reports.
In the NRF/Prosper Cyber Week consumer survey, 20% of respondents cited the ability to order online and pick up in store as a big tipping point when they’re hesitant about making a purchase. This was up from 15% last year.
“When consumers are buying from retailers online but picking up or making returns in store, it is more and more difficult to distinguish between the sales retailers make in their stores and the ones they make on their websites,” says Phil Rist, Prosper’s executive vice president of strategy.
For the Nov. 1 through Dec. 2 period, Adobe reports online sales have reached $81.5 billion, up 14% from $71.5 billion for the same time frame last year. The firm projects holiday sales will hit $143.7 billion for the season, which it defines as November through December, and that would be a 14.0% increase from $126.00 billion for the same period in 2018.
Online sales for the five-day Cyber 5 period hit $28.49 billion
- Thanksgiving 2019: $4.21 billion
- Black Friday 2019: $7.43 billion
- Small Business Saturday 2019: $3.60 billion
- Sunday After Thanksgiving 2019: $3.83 billion
- Cyber Monday 2019: $9.42 billion
How many people shop online after Thanksgiving?
- Thanksgiving 2019: 49.7 million shoppers
- Black Friday 2019: 93.2 million shoppers
- Small Business Saturday 2019: 58.2 million shoppers
- Sunday After Thanksgiving 2019: 43.1 million shoppers
- Cyber Monday 2019: 83.3 million shoppers