Study: Cyber Monday dwarfs Black Friday shopping this holiday season

Nov 28, 2023, 10:36 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm

cyber monday black friday...

Shoppers are seen on Black Friday on November 24, 2023. (Photo by Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Cyber Monday 2023 smashed expectations, as Americans looking for bargains spent a record $12.4 billion dollars online, according to data from Adobe Analytics. That’s 9.6% more than last Cyber Monday.

In fact, a Bankrate survey indicated Cyber Monday would become the most popular day in what’s traditionally the kick off to the holiday shopping season.

“We found that 66% of holiday shoppers are likely to buy something on Cyber Monday, 61% on Small Business Saturday, and 56% on Black Friday,” Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman told KIRO Newsradio.

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Although plenty of online commerce was conducted for Cyber Monday, Rossman said the move to online shopping is increasing overall.

“Even Black Friday, which used to be more of a ‘get up in the wee hours of the morning and line up at the store’ event, the Black Friday results that we’ve seen so far were much stronger online than in person,” Rossman said. “Mastercard, for example, found an 8% jump year-over-year in online Black Friday sales.”

By comparison, only 1% more shoppers visited stores in person.

The swing to online purchasing has been underway since the first “Cyber Monday” was promoted by the National Retail Federation in 2005. But Rossman believes the pandemic accelerated a lot of this.

“Online sales really surged in 2020. Of course, people were afraid to venture out. But what I think is interesting is that they’ve stuck there and actually, this year, expanded upon,” he said, noting an increase in online Black Friday sales.

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday will remain important to the holiday shopping season, he said it’s no longer the “kick off” that it once was. Retailers began offering sale items back in October. He said that’s likely due, in part, to a move by Seattle-based Amazon.

In addition to Amazon’s summer Prime Day event, the online retailer also holds a second Prime Day in October, which pushes the start of the holiday season even earlier. Competitors have followed with their own fall discounts.

Rossman expects the discounts to continue through the holiday season. He explained that retailers have ample inventory and consumers aren’t in a rush to buy, opting instead to spend money on trips, concert tickets and other experiences.

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“It’s been harder for retailers to move clothes, toys and electronics,” Rossman said. “I feel like 25% or 30% off is kind of the floor right now. I feel like that’s the minimum standard that customers are expecting. Sometimes we’re even seeing 50% off.”

Many retailers are also offering free shipping.

“I feel like think the pendulum has swung in favor of consumers this year,” Rossman said.

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here

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Study: Cyber Monday dwarfs Black Friday shopping this holiday season