2nd December 2022

POV: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping


The Cyber Five (the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday) is the largest shopping event in the US and kicks off the holiday shopping season. Whilst expectations for online holiday shopping this year were muted, due to inflation and other economic challenges, online sales activity in the US bettered expectations as Cyber Monday set records with over $11.3 billion in sales according to Adobe Analytics.

Details and Implications:

Despite inflation and the fact that lots of early Black Friday deals started in October and the first 3 weeks of November were flat compared to last year, consumers in the US showed up to spend online for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

According to figures from Adobe Analytics, which tracks seasonal e-commerce activity, US online sales hit $5,29 billion on Thanksgiving and rose 2.3% year over year to roughly $9 billion on Black Friday. Spending on Cyber Monday set further records with a 5.8% jump from last year to over $11.3 billion. However, it is worth noting that due to inflation, many consumers are spending more money to buy fewer products.

Looking at some of the big purchase trends from the Thanksgiving weekend, compared to an average day in October, sales for smart home items increased 271%, toys increase 285%, audio equipment up 230% and exercise equipment up 218%. Much of this driven by heavy discounts. US consumers were also making more purchases on their mobile phones as Adobe shared that mobile shopping represented more than half of the weekend’s sales this year.

Paid search was the biggest driver of sales for retailers across the Cyber Five according to Adobe, accounting for 28% of online sales, followed by direct marketing then affiliate/partner marketing, email and organic search. But while social media’s contribution is less than 5% of sales, its share has grown 27% YoY.

The Cyber shopping weekend has become a global shopping event in recent years with more countries adopting it. Data from Salesforce revealed global Black Friday online sales were up 3% and the Cyber Monday total came in at $46.2 billion up 4% YoY. Individual countries showed variations however, as UK online sales were down around 10% on last year, in Australia & New Zealand, the decline in revenues was only 1% while orders placed grew 3%. Italy and Eastern Europe had positive sales growth of 1% percent and 4% respectively.


Consumers had been delaying their holiday purchases and are being more considered about their purchases, but heavy discounting attracted value minded customers online, particularly in the US. Whether online retailers and shoppers will sustain this activity for the rest of the holiday shopping season is the question.

Further Reading:

AdobeMedia Post | Insider Intelligence | TechCrunch | Diginomica |

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