Online sales during Cyber Week—the five-day period starting Thanksgiving and ending after Cyber Monday—grew again this year, setting new records and demonstrating the power of flexible fulfillment options, time-sensitive discounts, and the indisputable role mobile plays in e-commerce.
Retailers that offered consumers the choice to buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) were the stars of the show. According to Adobe’s real-time “2019 Holiday Online Shopping Trends” report, BOPIS usage for the five-day period grew 47.8% year over year (YoY). And consumers were 20% more likely to convert with retailers that offered BOPIS vs. those that didn’t. This was especially true on Black Friday, when conversion rates at BOPIS retailers outperformed non-BOPIS retailers by 64%, and Cyber Monday, when conversion rates at BOPIS retailers outperformed non-BOPIS retailers by 45%.
“If Cyber Week has taught us one thing, it is that companies offering fast fulfillment options like two-day shipping and BOPIS are winning consumer wallets, and we predict they will continue to do so in the few weeks left before Christmas,” said John Copeland, vice president, marketing and customer insights at Adobe, which bases its retail reports on the analysis of over 1 trillion visits to retail sites and 55 million SKUs, and transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.
Generally speaking, both retailers and consumers had quite a productive weekend. Consumers spent a whopping $28.5 billion online during the five-day period, which is up 17.7% YoY. A record $10.8 billion (38%) of total online spend came from mobile.
Additionally, $9.4 billion was spent online during Cyber Monday alone, an increase of 19.7% YoY, making it the largest online shopping day of all time in the U.S. Consumers spent $4.2 billion online Thanksgiving day (up 14.5% YoY), $7.4 billion on Black Friday (up 19.6%), $3.6 billion on Small Business Saturday (up 18%), and $3.8 billion on Super Sunday (up 13.1%).
Cyber Monday FOMO
During the hours between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. (Eastern) on Cyber Monday, consumers spent a record $2.9 billion, which represents 24% growth YoY. Consumers reached a purchasing rate of $12 million per minute between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. All told, the final four hours of Cyber Monday captured 31% of the day’s revenue. Cyber Monday also saw shopping carts that were 6% bigger than last year—filled with more and higher ticket items.
“The surge in online sales during the last few hours of Cyber Monday demonstrate that FOMO [fear of missing out], no doubt, kicked in for consumers,” Copeland said. “Retailers may want to think about how FOMO plus BOPIS could play into driving sales in the few days leading up to Christmas.”
Both large retailers (over $1 billion in annual revenue) and small retailers (less than $50 million in annual revenue) benefited greatly from online channels on Cyber Monday. Large retailers saw more than 540% boost in sales over an average day, while their smaller counterparts saw more than a 337% increase.
In addition, consumers predominantly reached e-commerce websites on Cyber Monday either by going through a paid search ad (24.1% of all visits, up 1.9% YoY) or by typing in the Web address directly (22.5% of all visits, up 7.9% YoY). While social networks represented a growing share of visits to e-commerce websites, at 6.7% (up 15.1% YoY), this channel still struggles to convert visits into orders, representing only 2.1% of all sales.
Consumers Flocked Online For Black Friday
Consumers relied on their smartphones more than ever this Black Friday. More than half of all visits to online retailers (61%) came from smartphones (15.7% higher than last year), and 39.1% of all e-commerce sales came via smartphones, which is up over last year’s 32%.
E-commerce giants are outperforming their smaller counterparts in revenue driven by smartphones: Their smartphone revenue share is 11% higher, and they are 87% more efficient at converting customer smartphone visits into sales. Overall, e-commerce giants have seen an 85.7%% boost in sales this holiday season compared to a 41.7% boost for smaller retailers.
“Black Friday, which has traditionally been associated with in-store doorbuster deals, saw some intense online shopping,” Copeland told CMO by Adobe. “Consumers were spending $5 million per minute online on average on Black Friday, and large retailers, who are more mature when it comes to mobile conversion, were seeing the biggest payouts.”
Thanksgiving Surpasses $4B In Online Sales
Thanksgiving Day set new records, with $4.2 billion spent online. Many shoppers (44.9%) used their mobile devices to buy online, up over last year’s 36.1% of e-commerce sales coming from mobile. Consumers browsed more from their smartphones as well, with 64.2% of visits coming from smartphones.
“Cyber Week 2019 is the strongest we’ve seen for online shopping to date,” Copeland said. “We expect that many retailers will continue to offer discounts for the remainder of the holiday season in an effort to continue to drive more sales. BOPIS, mobile, and paid search will continue to be some of the main drivers of online shipping as we approach Christmas.”