Highlights From Cyber Monday
**Originally published November 29th, 2018. Updated Dec 4th, 2019**
With the holidays in full effect, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have officially come and gone. Companies and brands around the world activated a plethora of jaw-dropping deals and promotions to whet the shopping appetites of consumers. Last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday holidays saw companies like Amazon announce that it saw it’s single biggest shopping day–in terms of the total number of items sold–in the company’s history.
With the busy holiday shopping season well underway, Cyber Monday raked in record sales this year, amassing more than $9 billion in sales. This marked the first day in history when consumers spent over $3 billion using their smartphones, according to a report from Adobe Analytics. Here are some other highlights from Adobe about this year’s record sales weekend.
- Total sales hit $9.4 billion—up nearly 19% from a $7.9 billion haul last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions from a majority of top U.S. online retailers. That’s bigger than both Black Friday ($7.4 billion) and Amazon Prime Day ($4.2 billion last year).
- As shoppers increasingly move to digital rather than in-person spending, online sales via smartphones grew 46% from last year, accounting for 33% of all Cyber Monday sales in 2019—at a new record of $3 billion, according to Adobe Analytics data.
- During the peak hour of shopping between 11:00 p.m. ET and midnight, consumers spent $11 million on average every minute, Adobe said.
- The top-selling products on Monday included Frozen 2 toys, the Nintendo Switch, VR devices, Samsung TVs, LOL Surprise Dolls, Apple laptops, NERF products and video games like Madden 20 and Jedi Fallen Order, Adobe’s report shows.
- With more competition among retailers than ever, the report also highlights the 41% growth of BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) services this year, as shoppers increasingly looked for maximum convenience and time-saving.
- “Customers increasingly have a bigger basket of fulfillment options,” points out Morningstar analyst Zain Akbari, with more large retailers like Walmart and Target increasingly competing to offer cheaper and more efficient pickup or delivery services.
As of yesterday (December 3), the holiday season has already generated a record of $81.5 billion in total online sales so far. But this is just the beginning: overall holiday spending is predicted to hit $143.8 billion in 2019, compared with $126 billion last year.
Influencers got in on the action
It’s no secret that social media is a desirable forum for discovering great sales and promotions on your favorite products from top brands, especially if you follow them on their social accounts. If not, it’s likely you have still been exposed to these promotions through targeted marketing on your social channels. But it’s not just the traditional marketing channels that have been at the forefront of this season’s holiday advertisements.
Several high profile social media influencers pitching their own products to their audiences got in on the action, offering deep discounts on their brand merchandise. Social media stars like Jeffree Star were at the forefront, offering huge discounts on his Jeffree Star Cosmetics line.
On Black Friday, the brand’s liquid lipsticks were 40% off, its highlighters 35% off, makeup palettes, clothing, and accessories were 30% off, and concealers and setting powders were 25% off. For Cyber Monday, everything on the brand’s website was 25% off.
Big box stores banked on a big Cyber Monday, a revealing sign of the times
While Cyber Monday has been relevant for over a decade, it’s still perceived to some degree or another as the stepbrother of sorts to its close relative, Black Friday. While brands offer substantial shopping deals across Friday and Monday–both in-store and digitally–big-box retailers are relying more heavily on their online sales revenues than ever before.
The Gap, which is struggling, offered 50% off every item last year, including an additional 10% for online specials as well as free shipping. Kohl’s offered 20% off all items between Saturday, November 24 and Wednesday, November 28, in what was billed as Cyber Week. Shoppers were also offered $15 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent. The US economy continues to be strong, with healthy consumer spending and low gas prices. Retailers all looked to capitalize on the increase of this disposable income and boost their own bottom lines in the process. Nearly every retailer who took part in Cyber Monday offered free shipping, a clear indication of the stakes these companies put on generating huge revenues this holiday season.
However, the deeper problem lies in these very promotions. Discounting is killing the bottom line at many stores. Retailers like Target’s stock price plunged in recent weeks when it said that its costs were rising, in part from fulfilling online orders. Even powerhouses like Walmart are struggling with a similar problem. Online sales as a whole carry lower profit margins, largely due to fluctuating shipping costs that eat into profit margins. As revenue details of Black Friday and Cyber Monday emerge throughout the holiday season, the data will show whether or not the efforts of these brands can right the ship for some of the struggling retailers.
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