Here’s What to Expect During Cyber Week, by the Numbers

How much shoppers will buy over Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The golden hour of retail will ring in sales during Cyber Week.
The golden hour of retail will ring in sales during Cyber Week. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

Thanksgiving is late this year, which means there’s even more pressure on retailers to connect with consumers on marquee shopping dates before families exchange gifts for Chanukah and Christmas.

According to data firm Adobe Analytics, 78% of retailers plan to increase communication to compensate, so this abbreviated shopping season means consumers will undoubtedly see more ads.

We’re also seeing retailers make a concerted effort to lure shoppers even earlier. Customer relationship management software provider Salesforce projects “early bird shopping” on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving will account for 19% growth in global revenue in digital channels. And Adobe data shows that’s precisely what’s happening, with $240 million spent online as of 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 27, meaning the day is on track to hit $2.9 billion.

Here’s a curated list of the most insightful holiday predictions and stats as we head into Cyber Week:

Overall forecast

  • 13-14% growth in online sales to about $140 billion
  • At least $1 billion a day in online sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31
  • 4% growth in retail overall to $730 billion

Adobe forecasts an all-time high for the holiday shopping season, which it defines as Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, with a total of $143.7 billion in online expenditure. That’s 14.1% more than 2018.

And, Adobe said, for the first time ever, every day in November and December will surpass $1 billion in online sales. Every day in November has so far surpassed the $1 billion mark—with seven days surpassing $2 billion.

Similarly, Salesforce forecasts 13% year-over-year growth in digital commerce revenue with sales hitting $136 billion in the U.S. (and $768 billion worldwide).

In terms of retail overall, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expects an increase of 3.8% to 4.2% to $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion for the 2019 holiday season. That’s slightly more than the average holiday increase of 3.7%, which we’ve seen the last five years.

Thanksgiving day

  • Over $4 billion overall
  • Lots of mobile sales
  • Big discounts

Adobe forecasts $4.4 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving Day, which means 19.7% growth from the $3.7 billion spent in 2018.

Nearly half of online shoppers—46%—expect to do their shopping between 9 a.m. and noon, with 54% using smartphones. One in five will be using smartphones “so that friends and family won’t notice them shopping,” Adobe said.

Clothes, electronics and toys are the top products shoppers plan to buy on Thanksgiving, but Adobe said consumers can expect to see big discounts across the board.

Black Friday: A $7.4-billion day

Digital revenue on Black Friday will be $7.3 billion in the U.S. and $39.6 billion worldwide, Salesforce predicts.

Similarly, Adobe anticipates $7.5 billion and noted this is the day shoppers will find the biggest discounts on appliances (up to 9%) and sporting goods (6%).

Digital marketing company Bazaarvoice found 37% of consumers say they will complete most of their holiday shopping on Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday at 19%.

Cyber Monday

  • A $9 billion day
  • Includes the “Golden Hours of Retail”

While Salesforce predicts Cyber Monday will bring in $8.2 billion in the U.S (and $32.2 billion globally), Adobe thinks it will be even higher: $9.4 billion.

In addition, Adobe said the “Golden Hours of Retail,” or Cyber Monday from 10 to 2 p.m. ET, will account for 30% of revenue for the day as conversion nearly doubles in this four-hour window.

Web content management company Acquia said 60% of consumers plan to spend the same or more on Cyber Monday than they did last year, which was a $7.9-billion day.

Overall, Salesforce said Cyber Monday remains the best day for deals with an average discount of 29%. Meanwhile, Adobe said Cyber Monday is the day to buy televisions with 19% off, but Dec. 27 onward has the best deals on electronics with 27% off.

Dec. 1, on the other hand, will have the best deals on toys (32%) and computers (18%), Adobe said.

Consumer spend

  • Shoppers will spend about $1,000 each in November and December
  • They’ll spend $750 during Cyber Week specifically
  • Spend it relatively flat compared to 2018
  • 10% of shoppers have no budget

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers plan to spend an average of $738, which is down $65 from 2018, savings site RetailMeNot said.

Overall holiday spending will be around $1,048 per consumer, which is up 4% from 2018. That’s according to the NRF and data firm Prosper Insights & Analytics, which also found shoppers between the ages of 35 and 44 plan to spend the most with an average of $1,160.

Marketing optimization firm Periscope by McKinsey also found a correlation between age and spending, but it said it’s U.S. shoppers 40 to 49 who will allocate higher budgets, which Periscope defined as $500 or more, with 52% of this cohort indicating that is their plan for 2019.

But, Periscope said, 10% of consumers have not allocated a budget in 2019, which means they may be willing to shop regardless of price.

In addition, ad platform Cardlytics found customers who shop with a retailer in-store and online spend twice as much during the holidays—but those omnichannel shoppers only account for 10.3% of retail consumers. That, the platform said, is a huge opportunity for brands to capture additional spend.

It also helps to foster customer loyalty as returning customers drive 70% of holiday sales and spend 43% more than new customers acquired during the holidays, Cardlytics said.


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@lisalacy lisa.lacy@adweek.com Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.
Publish date: November 27, 2019 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/heres-what-to-expect-during-cyber-week-shopping-wise/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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