Cyber Week is over for another year - Adobe and Salesforce provide post-match assessment of how it went for retailers

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan November 29, 2023
Summary:
The economic crisis might not be over, but online shoppers were still out in force in search of a bargain during Cyber Week.

christmas shopping

Right, that’s that over for another year! Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been and gone. So, how did it go? Salesforce and Adobe have provided a final set of updates. 

According to Salesforce’s data for Cyber Monday, US online sales were up three percent year-on-year to hit $12.6 billion. Across the whole of Cyber Week, up to end of Monday, US online sales were up five percent year-on-year to total $70.8 billion. 

While Salesforce found Black Friday to be the biggest shopping day, Adobe reckons it was Cyber Monday. Its data found that US online consumers spect a total of $12.4 billion on Monday, up 9.6% year-on-year. For the whole of Cyber Week, Adobe posits $38 billion overall online sales. 

Some other stats of note from Salesforce: 

  • Across the whole of Cyber Week, average order value was $120, peaking last Tuesday on $128. 
  • Did shoppers buy more items? That rose and fell across the week to end up essentially flat across the period. 
  • The share of Buy Online, Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) orders peaked at 25% last Saturday, up from 21% at the start of Cyber Week. 
  • Discount rates in the US rose to 29%, with general apparel peaking at 38%, followed by health and beauty on 34%. 
  • Use of alternative payment methods, such as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), rose by eight percent year-on-year. 
  • Mobile wallet use was up 54% in the US, with Apple Pay accounting for 54% of the growth. 
  • Use of mobile devices, excluding tablets, peaked on Saturday, accounting for 82% of US traffic share, falling to a low of 73% on Cyber Monday. 
  • AI drove $51 billion of online sales over Cyber Week.

Of the last two findings, Rob Garf,  VP and GM of Retail commented: 

The mobile phone has been the remote control for Holiday shopping. Consumers are embracing mobile wallets to break down friction between discovering on social and purchasing on mobile. Executives are realizing that you can’t spell Holidays without AI. Retailers are embracing this innovative technology to personalize shopping experiences and increase customer profitability during the holiday season and beyond.

For its part, Adobe noted:

  • A big rise in BNPL, up 42.5% year-on-year to account for $940 million in Cyber Week, while for the year-to-date that total rises to $8.3 billion, up 17% year-on-year. 
  • Curbside pick-ups declined as consumers returned to physical stores. BOPIS was used in 12.7% of online orders from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (for retailers that offer the service), down from 14.8% in 2022. 
  • Across Cyber Week, smartphones drove 51.8% of online sales, up from 49.9% in 2022. Peak usage was on Thanksgiving itself, with 59% of online sales. 
  • The best discounts on Cyber Monday involved electronics with reductions of 31%, followed by computers (24%) and apparel (23%). 
  • Adobe now expects the entire Holiday season - defined as 1 November to 32 December - will generate $221.8 billion in online sales, up 4.8% year-on-year. 

My take

While Salesforce and Adobe’s data sample isn't 'apples to apples' and as such the numbers vary, there is consensus around the broad themes and growth areas. And both firms agree that, given the current macro-economic climate, it’s been a strong performance online. As per Vivek Pandya, Lead Analyst, Adobe Digital Insights:

The 2023 holiday shopping season began with a lot of uncertainty, as consumers shifted their spending to services, while dealing with rising costs across different facets of their lives. The record online spending across Cyber Week however, shows the impact that discounts can have on consumer demand, especially with quality products that drove a lot of impulse shopping.

Me? I didn’t buy a ruddy thing! So, it’s off to the shops to catch up on my Christmas list. 

Happy Holidays! 

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