The numbers are in: Cyber Monday was a success. And not because inflation made purchasing volume seem bigger than what it was. No, demand fueled a big day for anyone selling online.
According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday generated $11.3 billion in sales online. This is 5.8 percent more than consumers spent on the same day last year and a reversal of fortune. Consider that in 2021, Cyber Monday generated $10.7 billion, which was actually a drop from 2020. Meanwhile, Salesforce said Cyber Monday online sales hit $12.2 billion in the United States, representing an 8.3 percent increase over 2021.
All told, about 196.7 million shoppers made purchases during the five-day holiday period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday known as Cyber Week, the National Retail Federation said on Tuesday.
Adobe said that the Cyber Monday figures were based on more transactions overall – not spend boosted by inflation. At the peak, people were spending $12.8 million per minute on Monday.
According to Adobe, top sellers included games, gaming consoles, Legos, Hatchimals, Disney Encanto, Pokémon cards, Bluey, Dyson products, strollers, Apple Watches, drones, and digital cameras. Toys as a category saw a 452 percent boost in sales versus a day in October.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t this the year when inflation-wary shoppers were going to rein in their holiday spending? Wasn’t this the year when Amazon’s Prime Day I and II, Walmart’s Deals for Days, and Target’s virtual Black Friday sales throughout November were going to cannibalize Cyber Monday sales?
Not so fast. As it turns out, consumers were spending during the holiday promotions before Cyber Week but also holding out for deals – as they always do. And they did something else: they did their homework. Consumers knew that retailers were carrying excess inventory after two years of experiencing inventory shortages. They knew the deep discounts were going to happen. And so, they waited. As Tech Crunch reported, “Deep discounts — retailers perhaps anticipating needing to have something more to lure shoppers — have played a big role, too, as have the sheer availability of goods after shortages of the years before.”
Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights, said, “With oversupply and a softening consumer spending environment, retailers made the right call this season to drive demand through heavy discounting. It spurred online spending to levels that were higher than expected, and reinforced e-commerce as a major channel to drive volume and capture consumer interest.”
In addition, mobile influenced Cyber Monday shopping, accounting for 43 percent of all online sales. But it should be noted that the 43 percent share was much lower than Thanksgiving Day, when mobile accounted for 55 percent of purchases. That’s because people are back to work in Cyber Monday and using their desktops more.
So, what can retailers learn from the results?
- The retailers that stayed committed to their online ad spend won. By keeping their brand names and merchandise visible, they were best positioned to capture the Cyber Monday traffic. Retailers that scaled back their online ad spending because they feared consumers were going to spend less ended up missing out.
- As always, a strong blend of desktop-based and mobile ad spend was key to winning Cyber Monday traffic. True, the mobile traffic fell from Thanksgiving Day, but 43 percent is still a sizable number, and a well-balanced ad strategy was the way to go.
- Winning Cyber Monday requires a strategy for winning Cyber Week. Demand was uniformly strong for the entire period of Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Advertisers that managed their budgets with an eye toward driving traffic and sales for the entire Cyber Week captured a “Cyber Monday bonus.”
Bottom line: if you kept your holiday advertising strong and ignored the naysayers, you won Cyber Monday.
Contact True Interactive
True Interactive has deep experience helping clients plan and implement holiday shopping campaigns online. We can help you, too. We understand how to create nimble search campaigns and multi-channel ad outreach to target consumers with the right message at the right time. Contact us to learn more.
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