What Can We Learn from the Biggest Cyber Monday in History?

If Cyber Monday sales are any indicator, covid won’t be canceling the holidays this year. Despite many still struggling to make ends meet in the pandemic-damaged US economy, Cyber Monday saw the highest e-commerce sales in history. According to Adobe’s analysis of one trillion e-commerce site visits, sales reached a record-breaking $10.8 billion — a total that falls a bit short of their $12.7 billion prediction.

As Black Friday foot traffic plummeted by 95% compared to 2019, many retailers were banking on their e-commerce sites making up sales that would historically have happened in-store. We saw many brands work aggressive online offers into their holiday sale plans in an effort to minimize revenue loss due to covid safety measures.

So, what can we learn from the trends revealed by Cyber Monday shopping?

Holiday Spend Is Trending Up

What may come as a surprise, though, is that holiday spending is trending higher than usual for this time of year — already reaching over $100 billion in season-to-date spend. That’s 27.7% higher than this time last year. The $100 billion mark is usually hit closer to mid-December. This could be a sign that we’re going to see a holly-jolly trend in holiday spend throughout the full season, or could simply be the result of consumers trying to get ahead of potential shipping delays due to rising covid numbers.

Mobile Matters

This one might sound like old news, but it’s worth noting that getting your mobile responsiveness right is becoming more and more important. In fact, purchases made on smartphones accounted for 37% of all online sales on Cyber Monday. The lesson to take from this? If your e-commerce site isn’t easily shoppable on mobile, you stand to lose a huge percentage of sales. Time to double check that smartphone UX.

E-Commerce Meets Curbside Pickup

Though consumers showed resounding preference for online shopping this Black Friday weekend, many didn’t want to have to wait for their products to ship, either. As retail giants made moves early in the pandemic to begin offering safe and convenient pickup options, they were able to draw in consumers with something a little closer to that instant gratification that usually comes with holiday shopping. This near-instant gratification had a significant pull — according to Adobe, there was a 30% rise in curbside pickup compared to 2019. This presents a challenge to smaller retailers to match the bigger fish in offering curbside pickup options.

Key Takeaways:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is still on for 2020. Holiday spending is up, but it looks like consumers are trying to knock out their lists early this year — so we may see a dip later in December. 

Now is a good time to give your e-commerce site a second, and third, look on mobile to make sure you’re not missing out on sales. If you have a brick-and-mortar presence, curbside pickup is here to stay — so it may be worth looking into the logistics of making that work for your business.