Bad weather combined with retailers’ aggressive promotions drove consumers to buy online throughout Thanksgiving weekend, as well as on Monday.
As of 7 a.m. PST, consumers had spent $628 million online Monday, an 18.2% jump over the same period on Cyber Monday a year ago, according to the Adobe Analytics Insights arm of software firm Adobe Inc.
Cyber Monday has the biggest discounts
Aggressive promotions bolstered these gains. For example, Monday featured the biggest discounts on televisions among retailers tracked by Adobe, with average savings of 19%. Merchants also heavily discounted toys and computers, with retailers tracked by Adobe offering an average savings of 20% and 18%, respectively.
Moreover, 46 of the 50 largest online retailers tracked by Digital Commerce 360 (formerly Internet Retailer) in the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 offered Cyber Monday promotions that ranged from Gap Inc.’s 50% off everything plus an additional 10% off with free shipping to Walgreens’ sitewide 30% discount. Gap is No. 28 in the Top 1000 and Walgreens is No. 48.
Retailers use Cyber Monday to strengthen onmichannel
A number of retailers that operate physical stores used discounts on Cyber Monday to encourage shoppers to try out their omnichannel services. For example, PetSmart, No. 26, offered a 25% discount when shoppers bought an item online and picked it up in a store. That type of promotion is driving more shoppers to leverage services such as buy online pick up in store and curbside pickup services. Since Nov. 1, the number of orders fulfilled by BOPIS is up 43.2% compared with the same period last year, according to Adobe.
Target, which has been aggressively pushing shoppers to use its three same-day fulfillment options—in-store pickup, curbside delivery and its Shipt same-day delivery service—offered a $20 discount on orders of at least $100 when shoppers use its Shipt service. Shoppers can choose to pay a $9.99 fee for every Shipt order or $49 for a Cyber Monday-discounted membership that offers unlimited service for orders of at least $35 (the Target-owned service’s typical membership fee is $99).
Winter storms bolsters online sales by 7%
The strong start to Cyber Monday was built on robust online growth throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. On Saturday, for example, U.S. online sales grew 18.0% to $3.59 billion, Adobe says. That followed 19.6% online growth on Friday and 14.5% online growth on Thanksgiving Day.
Plus, inclement weather throughout the United States led shoppers to buy online rather than venture into stores. On Black Friday, for example, online sales were 7% higher in states that recorded more than two inches of snow compared with other states, according to Adobe.
“Online shopping received some unexpected boosts this holiday season,” says Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights. “Retailer fears of a shorter season meant that deals came much sooner than usual, and consumers took notice. In some areas of the country, adverse weather in the form of snow and heavy rain meant that many opted to stay home instead and grabbed the best deals online. Just look at Black Friday, which brought in $7.4 billion online and is just below last year’s Cyber Monday at $7.9 billion.”
6.2% decline in foot traffic on Black Friday
That shift online was evident as ShopperTrak, which analyzes foot traffic to physical stores, reported a 6.2% decline in in-store traffic on Friday.
And as consumers shift their holiday spending online, a growing number of shoppers are completing those orders on their smartphones rather than on computers.
Smartphones have accounted for 36.1% of online sales since Nov. 1, which is 24.1% growth compared with the same period a year ago, according to Adobe. Smartphones are driving the majority of visits to retail sites, at 58.1% of all visits, which is a 16.0% year-over-year increase in smartphone visits.