The results are in. The Cyber Five (the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday) are back in a major way. Let’s take a deep dive into the breakdown of exactly how the record-breaking week unfolded this year.
Record-breaking numbers: More than 196 million US shoppers participated online and in-store over the five-day span, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the highest number of shoppers ever recorded.
- –Shoppers spent an average of $325.44 on retail purchases over the weekend. Nearly two thirds, $229.21 was spent specifically on gifts.
- –Expert retail analysts predict that holiday sales from November 1 to December 31 will total between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion, less than some experts had predicted ($1.297 trillion).
Ecommerce excellence: Consumers spent $35.27 billion online during the Cyber 5 this year, up 4% year over year (YoY)
- –Thanksgiving spending led the charge with record-breaking numbers ($5.29 billion, up 2.9% YoY), Black Friday (up 2.3% YoY with $9.2B), and Cyber Monday (Up 5.8% with $11.3B).
- –Experts are predicting that online spend will grow almost 3% this year hitting $210.1 billion.
- –Top product categories during the Cyber Five included jewelry, sporting goods, stoys, apparel, and books, as well as expensive gifts like game consoles, electronics, computers, appliances.
Ad Tactics Summary: Paid search was the biggest driver of sales for retailers across the five-day period accounting for almost 30% of online sales, followed by direct response marketing (18%), affiliate/partner marketing (18%), email (17%), and organic search (15%).
What We Learned: Here are a few takeaways from a deep dive on Cyber 5 retail statistics:
1. Discounts Did the Deed – drove shoppers to spend. Electronics and toys were the most discounted categories (25% and 34% off list price, respectively), followed by computers, televisions, apparel, sporting goods, furniture, and appliances.
2. More People Used Mobile Phones to Shop. Retail shopping on mobile drove over half of the weekend’s sales for the first time this year with 55% of sales coming from smartphones (up from 51% last year).
3. Consumers dug flexible payment options. Orders placed with buy now, pay later (BNPL) services grew 85% and BNPL revenues increased 88% compared with the week prior.
4. Curbside pickup use declined. As more shoppers returned to physical stores, curbside pickup fell to the wayside.
Wrapping It Up (See what I did there?): It looks like Christmas is back in a big way. After a couple of depressing years of covid-era shopping, customers are feeling good about pulling out the wallet again. From the looks of things, you’re going to have to play the discount game to win attention, so be prepared.
Though it sometimes seems counter-intuitive to use discounts to acquire customers at the expense of margin, it seems to be working. Plus, it may help ease the bloated inventories that have plagued retailers all year, putting them in a good position heading into the new year.
Happy hunting, media buyers.
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