Skip to main content

Growing consumer demand fuels $298 billion in Cyber Week online sales

Online holiday shopping
Cyber Week digital sales showed growth.

Increased order volume and strong Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance drove digital sales during Cyber Week.

Overall global sales were up 6% year over year (YoY) for the period (Thanksgiving Day Nov. 23 to Cyber Monday Nov. 27), hitting $298 billion, according to Salesforce, which analyzed shopping data from over 1.5 billion consumers across its Salesforce Customer 360 platform.

In the U.S., Cyber Week sales reached $70.8 billion and increased 5% YoY. Salesforce said that growth was driven primarily by order volume, rather than inflation, signaling increased consumer demand for the first time in more than five quarters. 

On Black Friday, online sales increased 8% globally, 9% in the U.S., and 8% in Europe YoY, to what Salesforce tracked as a record-breaking $16.4 billion in the U.S. and $70.9 billion globally. On Cyber Monday, online sales increased 5% globally, 3% the U.S., and 10% in Europe YoY.  

Other notable trends observed by Salesforce during Cyber Week include:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) influenced $51 billion of global online sales in areas such as targeted offers, product recommendations, and generative AI-powered chat services.
  • A record-breaking 79% of Cyber Week e-commerce traffic was on mobile phones, up from 76% in 2022. Social traffic on mobile represented 10% of all referrals to retailer websites. 
  • Discount rates rose to 27% globally and 29% in the U.S. on average throughout the week – representing the best deals of the holiday season.
  • After an unprecedented high rate of returns during Cyber Week 2022, where Salesforce analysis indicates consumers exchanged gifts to price adjust for better deals, return rates fell back to normal levels (5%) for the period. 
  • U.S. shoppers used alternative payment options like buy now pay later (BNPL), which had an 8% increase in orders YoY. In addition, mobile wallet usage increased 54% in the U.S. YoY, with Apple Pay driving the majority of the growth (54%). 

“Executives are realizing that you can’t spell holidays without AI,” said said Rob Garf, VP and GM of retail, Salesforce. “Retailers are embracing this innovative technology to personalize shopping experiences and increase customer profitability during the holiday season and beyond. And the mobile phone has been the remote control for holiday shopping. Consumers are embracing mobile wallets to break down friction between discovering on social and purchasing on mobile.”

Black Friday weekend less successful for direct-to-consumer retailers

Data from Belardi Wong, a marketing agency serving large direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, indicates that in general, the DTC vertical had soft Black Friday weekend results. Across Belardi Wong’s clients, there was an 8% decline in revenue YOY on Black Friday, including a 1% drop in the apparel, shoes & accessories vertical. Apparel did out-perform 2022 by single digits, but DTC shoes & accessories retailers saw sales drops.

The home décor DTC vertical continued year-to-dates trend and was down 12% YOY in Black 
Friday sales. Saturday and Sunday held year-to-date trends, -5% and -8%, respectively, which Belardi Wong said is positive given more consumers were distracted by in-person events and spending on experiences.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds