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Cyber Monday online retail soars - more number crunching from Adobe and Salesforce

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan November 30, 2022
Cyber Monday saw continued growth in online sales in the US, but other parts of the world didn't do so well...


Cyber Monday was a hit with consumers as online sales figures from Adobe and Salesforce confirm. The two companies ended up with different totals for the day, but both reported solid year-on-year increases for the retail sector.

Adobe's perspective

Adobe Analytics, which measures e-commerce transactions at 85 of the top 100 internet retailers in the US, reported online sales of $11.3 billion, up 5.8% year-on-year.  At the peak of shopping - 8:00 to 9:00 pm Pacific - consumers were spending $12.8 million every minute. 

Overall, according to Adobe’s numbers, Cyber Week - Thanksgiving thru to Cyber Monday - brought in $35.27 billion, up four percent year-on-year. The firm predicts online spend of $210.1 billion for the full Holiday period, defined as 1 November to 31 December. That’s a 2.75% growth rate.

Other stats of note from Adobe’s Cyber Monday analysis:

  • Discounts hit record highs across many categories, including toys at 34%, up from last year’s 19%;  computers at 20%, up from 10%;  televisions on 17%, compared to 11%); apparel at 18%, compared to 13%); sporting goods at 10%., compared to six percent; furniture at 8%, compared to two percent; and appliances at 16%, compared to four percent.  
  • More than half (55%) of online sales came via smartphones, while mobile shopping drove the majority of sales across the whole of Cyber Week, at 51% for the first time, up from 46% last year.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later orders rose 85%.
  • Curbside pick-up was down year-on-year as consumers returned to the physical store. The fulfillment method was used in 17% of online orders on Cyber Monday, down from 18% in 2021. 

Salesforce's perspective

Meanwhile Salesforce reported US Cyber Monday online sales of $12.2 billion, up eight percent year-on-year. The number of orders placed was down one percent year-on-year, reflecting the pressures of inflation and the current macro-economic climate.

Salesforce’s analysis includes global rankings outside of the US. The global total came in at $46.2 billion for Cyber Monday, up four percent year-on-year. Individual countries totals varied according to their own economic situations. For example, the UK saw online sales decline by 10% year-on-year on Monday, with order volume down by the same percentage, while Japan reported negative sales growth of -33% and online volume decline of 17%.

What is interesting from the numbers is that the game of “discount chicken” identified by Salesforce General Manager Rob Garf last week, appears to have spiked. Average discount rates in the US peaked at 30% in the US and 27% globally.  The best bargains globally came from General Apparel, with discounts of 34%, followed by Make-up/Skincare (32%) and Luxury Handbags/Apparel (26%).

According to Salesforce’s analysis, use of Buy Online, Pick-up, In Store (BOPIS) schemes grew across Cyber Week, up nine percent globally. In the US, retailers with BOPIS capabilities saw online revenue grow by 38% more than those that did not.

Meanwhile, while Buy Now, Pay Later initiatives were used by more US consumers - a five percent rise year-on-year - the average order value for these transactions was down by the same percentage. Salesforce attributes this to shoppers financing lower-priced goods in 2022 compared to last year.

The overall Salesforce conclusion? According to Garf:

After lackluster discounts earlier in the season, retailers stepped up their game throughout Cyber Week, and shoppers answered in kind. Our data shows an incredibly strong correlation between discount rates and digital sales as consumers held out for the biggest and best deals.

As we enter the home stretch of the Holiday season, retailers must preserve margins by emphasizing automation to balance operational efficiency and customer loyalty. We anticipate that the retailers who lean into store fulfillment, personalize service, and streamline returns will be winners and find more success now.

My take

Happy Holidays!

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