Just How Big Were Black Friday and Cyber Monday ?
Simon Hill | December 11, 2013
In the last few years the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has become the most popular shopping day of the year. The rise of online shopping has also led to the clever marketing creation, Cyber Monday, which was conjured up to encourage people to shop online. As it falls after the end of November, when most people receive their last pay check before Christmas, it’s always been a good candidate for big spending.
Retailers are now enjoying a run of five days from Thanksgiving through to Cyber Monday when they can run promotions, discount old stock before the New Year, and boost their income. There has been a general trend towards more people doing their shopping online, it’s more convenient and it allows them to avoid the crazy crowds. It’s also becoming easier, as people can use tablets and smartphones to shop, not just computers.
According to Channel Advisor research there was a major increase in e-commerce sales this year and more people than ever before used mobile devices, tablets or smartphones, to shop. Over the five days 37.8% of the traffic was mobile devices, but there’s still evidence that people browse on mobile and then switch to their computers to pull the trigger on a purchase. On Cyber Monday mobile devices accounted for 18.3% of all online sales, and smartphone conversion rates continue to be much lower than those on tablets or desktop computers.
Black Friday e-commerce sales were 18.9% higher than 2012 and on Cyber Monday they were 16% higher than 2012. In fact Adobe put the total online sales for the five day period at $7.4 billion, which is a 26% jump year on year and accounts for more than 10% of retailers’ total holiday sales. Cyber Monday alone accounted for $2.29 billion.
Fast Changing Landscape
We don’t have to go back very far to see how quickly this is growing. The $1 billion online sales barrier for Cyber Monday was only broken in 2010. In the first year that the term “Cyber Monday” was used back in 2005, online spending in the U.S. was $484 million. If we check out comScore’s comparison of 2009 and 2010 then we find that in 2009 Cyber Monday generated $887 million and that most people (52.9%) made purchases on their work computers.
This year mobile devices played a far larger part and retailers were able to drive sales much later into the evening as people shopped from home. Browsing and buying while lying on the couch with a tablet or smartphone is a common practice now, but retailers also played their part. The big winners on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were Amazon and eBay.
Releasing Deals in Waves
We saw a real advertising push to highlight the Black Friday through to Cyber Monday period from a wide range of retailers, but eBay and Amazon were especially smart. On eBay we saw daily deals promotions and Amazon cleverly used limited-time deals to maintain high levels of traffic and interest and spread them out over the five days. The result was impressive year on year increases on Black Friday of 34.7% for Amazon and 38.7% for eBay, and on Cyber Monday of 46.2% for Amazon and 32% for eBay.
The Black Friday period is still a huge deal for bricks-and-mortar retailers, but it is increasingly boosting online sales and people are clearly growing more comfortable shopping on mobile devices. This trend looks set to continue as big online retailers look to export it and expand it.
Image Source : MoreBusiness.com