Did Cyber Monday hit its peak in 2020?
The good news is that the final figures from Cyber Monday show that it was the single biggest day for online shopping in 2021. On the other hand, the $10.7 billion in sales rung up by online merchants was down 1.4 percent from last year’s record performance.
A number of factors are said to have played a role in the final tally.
“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights. “This was further fueled by growing awareness of supply chain challenges and product availability. It spread out e-commerce spending across the months of October and November, putting us on track for a season that still will break online shopping records.”
Consumers spent nearly 12 percent more online between Nov. 1 and 29 compared to 2020, according to Adobe. The company’s research finds that daily online sales have remained consistently high this year and have not had some of the same spikes seen in the past. Adobe has forecast online sales to grow 10 percent year-over-year and reach a new record when all is done and tallied for the holiday season (Nov. 1 – Dec. 31).
Retailers have reduced their discounts throughout the season and Cyber Monday was no different. Adobe is expecting merchants to further reduce discount levels as Christmas draws nearer.
Cyber Monday discounts offered on electronics were around 12 percent this year compared to 27 percent in 2020. Retailers discounted sporting goods eight percent compared to 20 percent last year. The closest category on discount percentage was apparel with merchants cutting prices by 18 percent versus 20 percent in 2020.
Out-of-stocks may have cost some retailers sales, as well. Adobe found that out-of-stock messages were up eight percent on Cyber Monday compared to the week before. Out-of-stocks messages for November were 258 percent higher than they were in the same month in 2019.
The vast majority of consumers chose delivery for their online orders, but curbside pickup remains a popular option. Eighteen percent of those placing orders chose to drive to a local store to get their merchandise. This compares to 20 percent last November.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are there lessons that retailers can take from Cyber Monday and the rest of the 2021 holiday season to help them going forward? What are your expectations for retail performance in December?