Retailers weigh in on how the Cyber 5 holiday period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday went. While some reported record-breaking sales, others experienced more muted results. Retailers share examples of what tactics worked well as well as the plan going into the crunch period before the holidays.

The 2022 Cyber 5 holiday period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday proved to be a lucrative one for many retailers. Amazon.com Inc. reported record-breaking shopping results during the Cyber 5. Home goods online merchant Wayfair Inc. also announced strong results, including a low single-digit sales increase in the U.S. in 2022 compared with 2021. 

During the Cyber 5 holiday, U.S. consumers spent $35.27 billion, a 4% increase compared with the same period in 2021, according to Adobe Analytics. Adobe bases its estimates on more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites in 18 categories. Its clients include more than 85 of the 100 leading online retailers in North America according to Digital Commerce 360.

Online retailers reported varying results from Nov. 24-28. In 2022, inflation and higher prices are top of mind for U.S. consumers. Meanwhile, retailers are tasked with enticing shoppers without cutting too far into profit. Digital Commerce 360 hard from Cuisinart, Monoprice, BlendJet and others, to learn how they performed during the Cyber 5 – and what lies ahead for the remainder of the holiday shopping season.



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Online sales during the Cyber 5 holiday

Cuisinart.com‘s online sales increased a whopping 71% compared to 2021, said Mary Rodgers, director of marketing. The average order value during the Cyber 5 period — from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28 this year — on the retailer’s own website was $63. That compares with $41 the rest of the year.

Amazon reported record-breaking sales during the Cyber 5 period, as did Thrasio, a company that operates about 200 brands that sell primarily on Amazon’s marketplace. 

“Cyber Monday was our biggest day in company history,” said Brandon Hendrix, vice president of marketing and creative at Thrasio. Hendrix said sales have been steady leading up to Thanksgiving, with moderately priced products like GlowCity glow-in-the-dark balls and RAK Pro tools selling particularly well.

Electronics online retailer Monoprice Inc. said its best sales were for its higher priced products, said Richard Tseng, vice president of marketing. This year, the online retailer offered more items with free shipping. Affiliates were the most successful in converting customers, he said, without sharing details.

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BlendJet CEO Ryan Pamplin said the retailer had a record-setting Cyber 5. AOV was 38% higher compared with Jan.-Oct. 2022, Pamplin said. The portable blender retailer credits the spike in AOV in part to split testing software Outsmartly, which suggested bundle options to entice shoppers. The split test offered some customers the bundle options — like buy three or more and get 25% off, buy two or more and get 20% off, or buy one get one 15% off — while a separate group was not offered the options. BlendJet’s Disney and Lisa Frank-themed models helped boost sales as well, Pamplin said. 

Duluth Pack also anticipated lower sales during Cyber 5 because of the increase in online sales in October through mid-November, said Grant DeMars, web manager.

“We actually saw an increase,” he said. DeMars said the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, Small Business Saturday, played a large part in its higher online sales.

“We had a feature on [television], which led to a large uptick in sales on Saturday,” he said. Duluth Pack was featured on Fox 21, which reaches TV viewers in Minnesota. 

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Inflation and higher costs

With inflation compelling many consumers to seek out deals, some retailers also prepared for lower sales. Leon Rbibo, president of The Pearl Source and Laguna Pearl said the merchant forecasted a 15%-20% drop in Cyber 5 sales year over year. Rbibo was pleasantly surprised to find demand contradicted the retailer’s original estimates.

“The reality is that right now, we are on par with last year’s sales, and, when the final numbers come in, we may even exceed last year’s performance by 10%,” he said. 

But, the cost of doing business has increased, Rbibo said. Packaging costs are up 10% for the retailer compared with 2021. Logistics and fulfillment costs also increased about 8% for packaging materials, shipping, labels, boxes and other materials, he said.

Jeweler Moriarty’s Gem Art also expected lower sales, said owner Jeff Moriarty, marketing manager. Instead, sales increased.

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“We were up about 25% in revenue and 20% in orders placed,” he said. 

But not all retailers are exceeding expectations. 2022 Cyber 5 holiday online sales are down compared with 2021 and 2020, said Jim Tuchler, president at Gifts for You LLC. But its online sales were down less during the Cyber 5 period than the rest of the year. On a positive note, its AOV increased, Tuchler said, without sharing more details. 

Online children’s craft subscription retailer Kids Art Box kicked off Thanksgiving with nearly double the online sales compared with 2021, said founders Nick and Melanie Phillips. Kids Art Box stuck with its promotional 20% off any subscription strategy. Overall, however, Kids Art Box sales and quantity sold decreased this year compared with 2021.

Kids Art Box AOV in 2022 during the Cyber 5 holiday period was $101, down from $104 in 2021. That’s still higher than the subscription retailer’s AOV of $80 for Jan. 1-Oct.31, 2022, Nick Phillips said.

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Retailers enticed shoppers with promotions and omnichannel options

Target Corp. said same-day services, including curbside pickup and buy online, pickup in store, accounted for about half of online orders placed on Black Friday morning, said a Target spokesperson. Digital orders fulfilled by same-day services increased by more than 20 percentage points compared with the Cyber 5 period in 2021.

Target’s most popular Black Friday deals spanned a number of categories, including toys, electronics and family pajamas, according to the company. 

Target’s most popular deals during its Cyber sale:

  • 25% off beauty
  • AirPods
  • 15% off small appliances
  • Up to 40% off seasonal décor
  • Up to 50% off kids apparel

Moriarty’s Gem Art shifted its promotional strategy for the Cyber 5 holiday in 2022, focusing on a sitewide sale. In 2021, the jeweler put specific items and categories on sale. The blanket sitewide sale “seemed to have been well-received seeing our results,” Moriarty said.

AOV was slightly less than usual, “due to the sale,” Moriarty said. But because items were priced higher in 2022, AOV was higher in 2022 compared with 2021. Moriarty’s Gem Art offered free shipping throughout the Cyber 5 period. The jeweler also offered free extended returns.

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Meanwhile, online jewelers The Pearl Source and Laguna Pearl promoted their lower-priced, high-volume products to appeal to budget-conscious shoppers.

“A $2,500 necklace is a tough pill to swallow,” Rbibo said. “A $99 pair or studs? Not so much. Shoppers were more than happy to snap up the lower-margin inventory we had.”

As a result, Rbibo said the retailer increased sales volume on lower margin products.

Online retailer QueerlyDesigns, an online retailer of queer and gay pride clothing, is rethinking its promotional strategy after a 40% decrease in online sales during the Cyber 5 period, said founder Amanda Fox-Rouch. 

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“We were surprised by the lack of sales volume for [Black Friday, Cyber Monday] compared to last year,” Fox-Rouch said.

QueerlyDesigns ran a 10% off sitewide promotion from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. AOV during this period was $33.74, slightly less  than the retailer’s year-round AOV of $34.71. The retailer offers free shipping on all U.S. orders. Fox-Rouch believes the decrease is due in part because customers opted to purchase more T-shirts, which are cheaper, than sweatshirts.

In 2021, the retailer offered a 20% sitewide sale on Black Friday, 15% off T-shirts on small business Saturday and 15% off hoodies and sweatshirts on Cyber Monday.

“We’re thinking that the decrease in sales could be partially due to the decrease in discount we offered to our customers,” Fox-Rouch said. “However, we felt limited in terms of the discount we could offer this year due to inflation and the surging costs we’ve experienced over the past several months.”

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In-store sales varied

BlendJet sells its products in over 30,000 stores including CVS, Target, Kohl’s Corp., Best Buy Co. Inc., Bed Bath and Beyond Inc., Macy’s Inc. and others. During the Cyber 5 period, BlendJet had its “best sales ever, and did double to triple forecast in most [store] locations,” Pamplin said. He added that retailers have placed replenishment orders to keep stock available for the remainder of the December holiday season.

But Duluth Pack had less foot in-store traffic and had an increase in online traffic, DeMars said. Online traffic to DuluthPack.com increased 39% during Nov. 2022.

Strategy for the rest of the holiday season

With the Cyber 5 holiday period in the rearview mirror, retailers are reassessing how to proceed in December. That includes marketing popular products “in order to build awareness and conversion for key products throughout the entire digital ecosystem [DTC website and network of retailers Cuisinart sells its products through],” said Cuisinart’s Rodgers.

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Monoprice’s Tseng said it will continue to be aggressive throughout the holiday season in December to entice shoppers to buy.

“We have some inventory surplus, so there will be a number of great deals to look out for,” he said.

Gifts For You is sitting on a lower backlog of inventory, Tuchler said.

“So, we plan to squeeze in as many late orders as possible,” he said.

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Meanwhile, QueerlyDesigns plans to ramp up its discounts heading into the holidays. The online retailer plans to launch its more aggressive discounts a day or two before its shipping cut off dates for Christmas delivery. 

“We’re thinking either 15% of 20% off sitewide,” Fox-Rouch said. “We find this usually encourages customers to get their gift orders in early and gets them to spend more.”

While some retailers plan to ramp up discounts to offload inventory, BlendJet’s Pamplin said the retailer doesn’t have excess inventory to sell. The retailer’s December discounting structure is similar to the tiered bundle sale, which offers progressively bigger discounts based on how many items customers buy but with slightly lower discounts. 

Digital Commerce 360 staff contributed to this article.

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