A Record-Setting Weekend for Online Shopping

Gina Acosta
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A Record-Setting Weekend for Online Shopping
Thirty-nine percent of holiday shoppers looked to emails from retailers for information on deals and promotions, edging out conventional advertising circulars, which were tied with online search, at 38%

Adobe Analytics has reported that Cyber Monday sales set a new record of $9.2 billion, compared with $7.9 billion last year. A large portion of those sales flowed to Amazon, which said Cyber Monday was the highest-volume sales day in the company's history, although it stopped short of disclosing an actual sales figure. 

According to Amazon, it delivered millions of grocery items to Prime members in the United States on the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Best-sellers from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery included Honeycrisp apples, lemons and avocados.

“We’re focused on making this holiday season more convenient than ever for our customers, especially given how short this holiday shopping season will be,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer at Seattle-based Amazon. “We are thrilled that customers continue to come to Amazon in record numbers to discover what they need and want for the holidays. Thank you to our customers and employees all around the world for making this holiday shopping weekend the best yet.”

The Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF) said that a record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, an increase of 14% over last year’s 165.8 million.

Shoppers spent an average $361.90 on holiday items over the five-day period, up 16% from $313.29 during the same period last year.

Shopping destinations included department stores (visited by 50% of those surveyed), clothing stores (36%), grocery stores (34%), electronics stores (32%) and discount stores (29%).

The NRF survey found that 124 million people shopped in stores, while 142.2 million shopped on retailers’ websites; demonstrating today’s seamless shopping world, 75.7 million did both. Consumers who shopped in both channels spent an average $366.79, spending at least 25% more than those who shopped in only one or the other.

Black Friday was the busiest day for in-store activity, with 84.2 million shoppers, followed by Small Business Saturday (59.9 million), Thanksgiving Day (37.8 million), Sunday (29.2 million) and Cyber Monday (21.8 million).

For the first time, Black Friday topped Cyber Monday as the busiest day for online, at 93.2 million shoppers, compared with 83.3 million. Saturday followed, at 58.2 million; Thanksgiving Day, at 49.7 million; and Sunday, at 43.1 million.

Thirty-nine percent of consumers looked to emails from retailers for information on deals and promotions, edging out conventional advertising circulars, which were tied with online search, at 38%. Mobile devices played a significant role, used by 75% to research products, compare prices or make purchases, up from 66% last year.

Additional findings from Adobe regarding Cyber Monday included:

  • Golden Hours of Retail: During the hours between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Eastern, consumers spent a record $2.9 billion, a 24% year-over-year increase, reaching a purchasing rate of $12 million/min between 11p.m. and 12 a.m. Eastern. These final hours of Cyber Week discounts became even more crucial for retailers this year as consumers hit “order” on those time-sensitive deals, capturing 31% of the day’s revenue in just four hours.
  • BOPIS: This season to date, Buy Online Pick Up In Store has grown 40.9% year over year with consumers 20% more likely to convert with retailers that offer BOPIS versus those that don’t. This was especially true on the big days, with Cyber Monday conversion at BOPIS retailers outperforming non-BOPIS retailers by 45%; Black Friday BOPIS retailer conversion outperformed non-BOPIS retailers by a whopping 64%.
  • Bigger Shopping Carts: Consumers bought more items and higher-ticket items during Cyber Monday. On average, consumers’ shopping carts were 6% bigger at checkout on Cyber Monday than they were last year.
  • Ecommerce giants Versus Smaller Retailers: On Cyber Monday, both large retailers (over $1 billion in yearly revenue) and small retailers (less than $50 million in yearly revenue) benefited greatly from consumers’ attention, as large retailers saw a 540% boost in sales over an average day, while their smaller counterparts lagged slightly behind, with a 337% increase.
  • Marketing Channels: On Cyber Monday, consumers predominantly reached ecommerce websites either by going through a paid search ad (24.1% of all visits, up 1.9% year over year) or by typing in the web address directly (22.5% of all visits, up 7.9% year over year). While social networks represented a growing share of visits to ecommerce websites, at 6.7% (up 15.1% year over year), this channel still struggled to convert visits into orders, representing only 2.1% of all sales.

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