Is Cyber Monday Becoming a Trend of the Past?
Cyber Monday has been going strong for almost two decades, starting in the early 2000s as a way to seduce consumers away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores and carry over enthusiasm from the Black Friday splurge into emerging online e-commerce platforms. Online retailers encouraged shoppers by running their own sales on Cyber Monday; everything you need and don’t, all at the click of a button. In 2006, Cyber Monday reached a record breaking high of $608M in sales. The immense success of Cyber Monday’s early years can largely be attributed to the newfound ease of shopping online—and at work. Internet speeds were slow and unpredictable in the forefront of the web with many shoppers depending on dial-up. As a result, a large number took advantage of faster speeds at work.
What’s Cyber Monday? What’s dial-up?
This model remains as the foundation for Cyber Monday with sale promotions starting earlier and earlier each November for Cyber Monday sales. As the traditional retail world and online shopping domains have merged, retailers have had to build a presence online and maintain their physical stores, shifting strategies and performance for Cyber Monday.
We have come a long way from the skyrocketing transactions of Cyber Monday for online holiday season discounts. And it could be that 2018 was the year Cyber Monday lessened its distinct identity. This year, though Black Friday transaction volume grew over its 2017 mark, Cyber Monday numbers fell. Applying transaction data gathered using Jumpshot’s Insights platform, we tracked Cyber Monday across seven gift-giving categories; Electronics, Appliances, Home & Home Decor, Toys & Video Games, Beauty, Sports, Fitness & Outdoors, and Jewelry & Accessories. The results, a 5% decline in Cyber Monday from 2017.
Among all seven categories, Beauty showed the strongest Cyber Monday growth, increasing sales 1% year-over-year. This number is not huge, but this was the only category to see positive growth. Of the seven categories, the two at the bottom of the barrel were Sports, Fitness & Outdoors with negative growth of 19% and Jewelry & Accessories with a 14% decline YoY.
No longer Cyber Monday, but Cyber Weekend?
The weekend after Thanksgiving was stronger overall, with sales across the seven categories rising 4% year-over-year and sales on Black Friday itself growing to 18%. As expected, this Black Friday saw strong growth for most eCommerce retailers. Across the whole weekend, it was Appliance sales that saw the highest jump, with a 21% increase in sales. Beauty was close behind at almost 13% growth in sales year-over-year. Beauty leader Sephora went a different route and rather than having all items on sale through the weekend, had particular products available on specific dates. This encouraged customers to keep checking back for deals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to be sure to get the most of the available deals.
The Electronics category had the most sales overall from Thanksgiving through Tuesday, driving more than 14M transactions across eCommerce retailers, a 5% growth over last post-thanksgiving numbers (around 13.4M).
While Cyber Monday numbers are declining year-over-year, the transactions across post Thanksgiving shopping are holding strong.
As holiday online sales grow, customers are no longer being held by the barriers of single-day sales or times. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now blurring into Cyber Week and Cyber Weekend where shoppers have 4–8 days of shopping.
Is Thanksgiving Becoming the new Cyber Monday?
It is noteworthy that Thanksgiving 2018 saw a higher increase in sales than Cyber Monday this year. Thanksgiving saw 27% growth YoY across all of the seven categories. This means customers were going from turkey to shopping and in some cases even shopping at the table. Cyber Monday has lost its edge as consumers now have days to indulge in online shopping, they don’t need to wait to participate in sales.
As numbers continue to grow with the smartphones, tablets and thinner and sleeker laptops, shoppers are able to shop on the go whenever the need hits them. As holiday shopping starts to see more crossover, it is unclear of the immediate fate of Cyber Monday, but e-commerce is on the rise, with strong online growth only going up and up.