Holiday Season Big Weekend Data 2021 - Cyber Monday

Adobe Data Shows Cyber Monday Sales Down Over Last Year

The big Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend for 2021 is in the books. Here is the latest data from Adobe into US eCommerce based on its analysis of over one trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.

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Consumer spending hit $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, which is down $100 million from last year (1.4% YoY). Yet, this Monday still remains the biggest online shopping day of the year. In the peak hour (11 pm-12 am ET / 8 pm-9 pm PT on the west coast), consumers spent $12 million every minute.

Cyber Week (from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday) drove $33.9 billion in online spending, down 1.4% YoY, as Black Friday dipped 1.3% YoY at $8.9 billion vs $9 billion (2020) and Thanksgiving Day stayed flat at $5.1 billion.  

“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. 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.”

Taylor Schreiner, Director, Adobe Digital Insights

So far this season (Nov. 1 to Nov. 29), consumers have already spent $109.8B online, growing significantly at 11.9% over last year because of consumers starting their holiday shopping earlier this year.

The Adobe data also showed there have been 22 days now that have exceeded $3 billion in online spending, a new milestone. By comparison, In 2020, only 9 days topped $3 billion at this point.

The holiday shopping season has smoothed out considerably this year, with eCommerce becoming a more ubiquitous daily activity. Adobe expects the full season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31) to hit $207B at 10% YoY growth, setting a new record.

More Cyber Monday Insights

On Cyber Monday, online spending was driven by categories including toys (sales up by nearly 11x pre-season levels in Sept. 2021), gift cards (up by 7x), books (up by 7x), video games (up by 6x), and baby/toddler products (up by 6x). In the appliance category (up by 5.6x overall) microwave ovens and small kitchen appliances topped the list (up by 9.6x and 7.1x, respectively).

  • Top sellers on Cyber Monday included: 
    • Toys: Hot Wheels, Nerf toys, Baby Alive, Paw Patrol, Squeakee toys and Tamagotchi Pix
    • Video Games: Just Dance 2022, Mario Party Superstars, Spider Man: Miles Morales, FIFA 22, Metroid Dread
    • Electronics: AirPods, Apple Watches, Apple Pencils, laptops (HP, Lenovo and Dell), Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, Xbox Series S, Oculus Quest 2, TVs (Sony and Samsung)   
  • Shopping carts got larger: Consumers saw the final price point of their shopping carts jump 13.9% on Cyber Monday (up 19% in the season overall). This signals that some are buying bigger ticket items, such as furniture, while others are feeling the effects of persistent online inflation (eCommerce prices have been up for 17 consecutive months).
  • Discounts remained weak: On Cyber Monday, discount levels for electronics were at -12% (vs -27% last year), TVs at -13% (vs -18% last year), apparel at -18% (vs -20% last year), sporting goods at -8% (vs –20% last year), appliances at -8% (vs -20% last year). For shoppers looking to buy a new computer, Adobe expects the day with the deepest markdowns to be this Wednesday (Dec. 1) with discount levels at -26%. Also, starting today, discounts will likely begin to fade (in the 5% to 10% range) as shipping costs begin to rise.
  • Out-of-stock remains high: On Cyber Monday, the prevalence of out-of-stock messages was up 8% compared to a week before (on Nov. 22). For November 2021 to date (through Nov. 29), the prevalence of out-of-stock messages is up 169% vs pre-pandemic levels (Jan. 2020) and up 258% vs two holiday seasons ago (Nov. 2019). Adobe expects this to continue through the rest of December.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) usage saw an uptick: On Cyber Monday, usage of BNPL services saw a bump with revenue up 21% YoY and orders up 1% YoY. It is the exception, and the first time this season where usage had not slowed. But with the biggest online shopping day behind us, Adobe does not expect another surge in BNPL usage until closer to Christmas.
  • Curbside pickup maintains popularity: As online shopping picked up, curbside pickup was used in 18% of all online orders on Cyber Monday (for retailers that offer the service), vs 20% last year. The durable demand for curbside pickup continues to show the value of physical stores.
  • Mobile shopping hits a wall: On Cyber Monday, smartphones accounted for just 39.7% of online sales (vs desktop), up 8.4% YoY. With many consumers working from home, smartphones are losing some of its potential as a major shopping channel. For years, the trajectory showed mobile was on a course to surpass the 50% mark in share of online sales, which has since slowed significantly. Consumers are using their phones to browse instead (57% share of web visits).

Shopping data was provided by Adobe as part of its Digital Economy Index.

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