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11/30/2021

Cyber Monday still biggest e-commerce day – but how big?

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Cyber Monday sales growth dropped from 2020 levels.

Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day in 2021, but growth was noticeably cooler than in 2020.

Adobe Digital Economy Index data indicates Cyber Monday sales actually dipped from prior-year levels, while Salesforce analysis shows moderate year-over-year growth. According to Adobe, consumers spent a total of $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, which is down 1.4% year-over-year from $10.8 billion in 2020.

Cyber Monday still remains the biggest online shopping day of the year, with Adobe data showing that during peak hour (11 p.m.-12 a.m. ET / 8 p.m.-9 p.m. PT), consumers spent $12 million every minute. Adobe recorded a total of $33.9 billion in online spending for Cyber Week (Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday), down 1.4% year-over-year. This figure includes a 1.3% year-over-year dip in  Black Friday sales from $9 billion to $8.9 billion, and flat Thanksgiving Day sales of $5.1 billion.  

However, Adobe’s analysis of online sales so far during the 2021 holiday season (Nov. 1 - 29) reveals consumers have already spent $109.8 billion online, growing significantly at 11.9% from 2020. It means that 22 days have now exceeded $3 billion in online spend, a new milestone. In 2020, only 9 days had topped $3 billion by Cyber Monday. Adobe says that the holiday season has smoothed out, with e-commerce becoming a more ubiquitous daily activity. Adobe now expects the full 2021 holiday season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31) to hit $207 billion at 10% year-over-year growth – a new record. 

“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights. “This was further fueled by growing awareness of supply chain challenges and product availability. It spread out e-commerce spending across the months of October and November, putting us on track for a season that still will break online shopping records.”

FINDINGS OF GROWTH
Salesforce analysis of Cyber Monday and Cyber Week online sales is more positive, indicating that U.S. digital sales rose 3% year-over-year to $12.3 billion on Cyber Monday.

Looking at online holiday shopping since the beginning of November 2021, Salesforce data indicates U.S. consumers spent $136 billion from Nov. 2-29, up 9% year-over-year. During Cyber Week (Nov. 25-29), Salesforce says U.S. digital sales reached $61 billion, up 4% year-over-year.

“Cyber Week set a new record for online sales again this year even with demand smoothing out as the month went on,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of retail at Salesforce. “While there are lingering concerns over inbound supply chain bottlenecks, retailers have scaled their last-mile delivery capabilities to ensure orders are efficiently fulfilled in time for holiday festivities this season.”

OTHER INTERESTING FINDINGS

  • According to Adobe, curbside pickup was used in 18% of all online orders on Cyber Monday (for retailers that offer the service), down slightly from 20% year-over-year.
  • On Cyber Monday, Adobe analysis shows that smartphones accounted for 39.7% of online sales, up 8.4% year-over-year. With many consumers working from home, Adobe says the smartphone is losing some of its potential as a major shopping channel. For years, the trajectory showed that mobile was on a course to surpass the 50% mark in share of online sales, which has since been derailed. Consumers are using their phones to browse instead (57% share of web visits).
  • According to Salesforce, the Average Selling Price (ASP) over Cyber Week (Tuesday-Sunday) is up 13% in the U.S year-over-year, while the average discount over Cyber Week was 26% in the U.S., down 9% year-over-year.
  • Klarna reported a 129% year-over-year increase in sales on Cyber Monday using its buy now, pay later (BNPL) flexible installment payment platform. Peak sales hour was 11 p.m. ET, with an 894% increase in sales during that time compared to an average day of shopping with Klarna. Black Friday purchases using Klarna rose 141% year-over-year. Adobe, which also tracked substantial year-over-year growth in BNPL purchases, does not expect another surge in BNPL usage until closer to Christmas.