This year’s Cyber Monday is shaping up to be one of the most lucrative in recent memory for online retailers, and potentially one of the biggest ever.
According to the Los Angeles Times, online purchases hit a record high over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with a growing number of American consumers ordering products from online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and others.
The data published in the LA Times piece comes from Adobe Analytics, which tracks spending and transactions from the 100 largest US-based online retailers. According to the data, upwards of $14 billion was spent online over the weekend following Thanksgiving Day.
Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day of the season, with almost $3.4 billion spent via online e-commerce retailers by 1:30 pm — an increase of 17% from spending patterns during the previous Thanksgiving weekend.
This year’s high level of online spending can be attributed to several factors. One is the general growth in e-commerce. More than at any previous point in the last decade, consumers are more comfortable ordering products online.
A second factor is the increasing focus of many large retail chains on online sales. Major retail stores such as Kohl’s reported a “record-breaking” weekend, recording nearly 16 million visits to its online store in a single day.
Despite the increase in online sales, visits to physical retail stores — a famous, of infamous part of Black Friday — fell slightly, possibly due to retailers offering lucrative online deals for shoppers that preferred to stay at home.
According to the National Retail Federation, total holiday spending increased by 4% over the course of the year. However, visits to physical retail stores over the Thanksgiving period were down 1.6% compared to 2016, indicating that much of the season’s growth is online.
The largest winner of the Thanksgiving shopping period appears to be Amazon.com. Although the e-commerce giant hasn’t released its holiday weekend shopping results to the public yet, it has released some interesting statistics.
During the first five hours of Black Friday, Amazon reportedly sold more than 200,000 toys to its eager audience of online shoppers. The company reported that Amazon Echo devices, pressure cookers and home DNA tests were among its top-selling Thanksgiving weekend items.
Amazon, which has always been a leader in e-commerce, now makes up 43% of e-commerce transactions, according to EMarketer data. The company’s dominance in online shopping has allowed it to create its own “shopping holidays,” such as the company’s Prime Day.
According to Amazon, Prime Day sales exceeded Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending, indicating that Amazon’s existing customer base is so much of an asset that the company can shape its own demand patterns and “create” consumer holidays of its own.
Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving shopping period wasn’t as much of a success for other retail brands as it was for Amazon. Department store giant Macy’s reported credit card and gift card processing issues that affected its ability to capitalize on the increased holiday demand.