Cyber Monday beat expectations this year, finishing the day with $12.4 billion in online sales, according Adobe Analytics. That’s an increase of 9.6% year over year, making Cyber Monday in 2023 the biggest online shopping day to date. Sales also exceeded Adobe Analytics’ initial projections of $12 billion.
Despite reports of muted consumer discretionary spending, demand was high on the shopping holiday. Spending was largely driven by new demand, not higher prices from inflation, per Adobe. Online prices have actually fallen year over year, and were down about 6% in October 2023 over 2022.
Demand fueled sales spikes in key categories:
- Apparel (Cyber Monday online sales were 189% higher than an average day in October 2023)
- Appliances (up 166%)
- Toys (up 140%)
- Furniture (up 12%)
- Electronics (up 103%)
- Jewelry (up 99%)
- Sporting goods (up 95%)
Several key categories recorded greater discounts than last year, Adobe reported.
Cyber Monday online discounts:
- Electronics: 31% (versus 25% in 2022)
- Computers: 24% (versus 20%)
- Televisions: 19% (versus 17%)
- Apparel: 23% (versus 18%)
- Sporting goods: 15% (versus 10%)
- Furniture: 21% (versus 8%)
- Appliances: 18% (versus 16%)
Toy discounts were smaller than last year, says Adobe, at 27% compared to 34% in 2022. Toy sales were weak in the first nine months of 2023, with unit sales down 9% and average selling price up 1%, according to a report from retail analysis firm Circana. Hasbro and Mattel previously warned of a potentially slow holiday season, Reuters reported.
“The 2023 holiday shopping season began with a lot of uncertainty, as consumers shifted their spending to services, while dealing with rising costs across different facets of their lives,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. “The record online spending across Cyber Week however, shows the impact that discounts can have on consumer demand, especially with quality products that drove a lot of impulse shopping.”
Cyber Monday online spending contributed to 7.8% year over year growth of the Cyber 5 period, which totaled $38 billion, according to Adobe. The vendor expects the full holiday season from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 will lead to $221.8 billion in online spending.
Fraud prevention vendor Signifyd found that price reductions over the Cyber 5 period were 14% higher than in 2022, with the average discount reaching 27.4%, up from 24% in 2022. Signifyd says Cyber Monday sales grew 11% year over year.
Consumers showed up in stores and online
200.4 million U.S. consumers shopped between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. That surpassed 2022’s 196.7 million total, and it beat out NRF’s projection of 182 million.
In-store shoppers declined slightly, to 121.4 million from 122.7 million in 2022. However, the number of online shoppers grew, from 130.2 million last year to 134.2 million this year. About 73 million consumers shopped on Cyber Monday, down slightly from 77 million in 2022, per NRF.
Consumers who showed up to shop both in stores and online were drawn in by steep discounts. 55% of Cyber 5 period purchases were driven by sales and promotions. 31% of consumers said they were convinced to make a purchase they were hesitant about due to a limited-time sale or deal.
Consumers spent an average of $321.41 on holiday-related purchases over the weekend, down slightly from $325.44 in 2022. About 70% of that ($226.55) was spent on gifts, NRF found. Clothing and accessories were the most popular category, consistent with Adobe’s findings.
NRF’s findings come from a survey of 3,498 adult U.S. consumers between Nov. 22 and 26.
BNPL drove Cyber Monday spending
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) usage reached record levels on Cyber Monday, accounting for $940 million, according to Adobe. That’s an increase of 42.5% year over year, on top of 85% it grew on Cyber Monday 2022.
BNPL users also displayed some changing habits, using the payment method on carts that had 11% more items, on average, than last year.
BNPL vendor Zip said purchases on Cyber Monday using the service grew 21% year over year, and were up 82% over a typical shopping day. Zip recorded a spike in uses between 11 p.m. and midnight Eastern time, up 195% over an average day. 82% of purchases with Zip were made online, the vendor said.
Payments vendor Klarna said orders from U.S. consumers increased 29.5% on Black Friday over the previous year.
Other Cyber Monday results
- Mobile sales drove much of the Cyber Week traffic, maxing out at 59% of online sales on Thanksgiving. Mobile devices drove 51.8% of sales throughout Cyber Week, up from 49.9% in 2022, per Adobe.
- Curbside pickup played a lesser role this year. It was used in 12.7% of online orders during the week at retailers that offer it, down from 14.8% in 2022.
- Consumers largely opted for standard shipping. Adobe says 80% of online orders chose that option during Cyber Week.
- Paid search was the largest marketing sales driver during Cyber Week, leading to 27% of online sales. It was followed by consumers going directly to retail websites (21%), organic search (17%), email (15%), and affiliate marketing (12%). Social media drove less than 5% of total sales, growing 6% year over year.
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