While the officially tally is still being counted, preliminary results indicate that Cyber Monday will go down in history both as the biggest online selling day of the 2018 holiday season and as the record holder for U.S. eCommerce sales in a single day, with $7.9 billion in online sales.
That estimate comes from Adobe Analytics, which spent the shopping day tracking trillions of transactions across the U.S. at major online retailers. The near $8 billion result beat forecasts for the day and represents a 19.7 percent increase over 2017’s figure of $6.6 billion.
The explosion follows the trend of the holiday shopping weekend thus far. On Black Friday, online U.S. sales hit $6.2 billion, with more than one-third of sales coming from mobile devices. Thanksgiving saw $3.7 billion in sales, while one of the newer shopping holidays, Small Business Saturday, brought in $3.02 billion in online sales, said Adobe — a 25.5 percent increase over last year.
And of course, the holiday shopping season in the U.S. no longer really begins on Black Friday, but actually starts on November 1. That early orientation means that online spending in November has already hit $58.5 billion, a nearly 20 percent increase over last year. That adds up to every day seeing sales of over $1 billion online — and six have broken the $2 billion mark, according to TechCrunch.
And, it seems, the consumers were just warming up, as yesterday’s even stronger-than-expected result demonstrates.
So what were the big winners during the big online shopping day?
Consumers are getting increasingly comfortable spending on their phones, with about $2 billion and 42.6 percent of sales coming in from smartphones. Smartphones also accounted for 58.9 percent of visits to retail sites, making them far and away the leaders in bringing in web traffic — 34.7 percent came via desktops and 6.4 percent from tablets.
Smartphones also have accounted for 42.6 percent of sales thus far, or 43.0 percent year-over-year growth.
Some Cyber Monday shoppers got a jump on the day early — by 7 a.m. on the West Coast and 10 a.m. on the East, consumers had already racked up a half-billion dollars in spending.
“As in past years, we expected that Cyber Monday deals would entice early shoppers kicking off one of the largest online shopping weeks of the year,” analysts at MasterCard said. “Our initial early numbers are showing that overall online retail sales this morning are in line with the season expectations and will likely set new records for this individual day.”
But the big shopping rush, according to Adobe’s estimates, wasn’t early in the day, or really a workday phenomenon. Adobe estimates that the “three golden hours of retail” actually fell between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Eastern time — a surprisingly-timed run that brought in $1.7 billion in sales. It seems shoppers in the East were catching their final sales deal as they were getting into bed, while West Coast denizens were getting out of work and getting their shop on.
“Many shoppers have waited on certain purchases, with three hours tonight expected to bring in as much revenue as an average full day,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.
Companies’ sales were up 20 percent from a year earlier as of 7 p.m. ET, according to Adobe.
Amazon Claims Biggest Sales Day In History
Though, as usual, Amazon did not disclose official sales figures for Cyber Monday (or Black Friday), the eCommerce giant did note in a release that the day “smashed” company records and was the biggest single shopping day in its history.
Amazon further noted the entire time period it calls the “Turkey 5” — Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday — had been a record-breaking sales period for the company, with “millions” more products than were sold during the same time period the previous year.
“Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to break records on Amazon year-over-year, which tells us that customers love shopping for deals to kick off the holiday shopping season,” Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon worldwide consumer, said in a statement.
And while Amazon notched perhaps its strongest day ever, it was far from the only retailer noting a strong string of days. Walmart, Target, Macy’s and Best Buy also reported strength online and in stores through the “Turkey 5” period.
“Despite some of the best deals coming earlier in the holiday season, the Cyber Monday brand has great staying power,” Schreiner said.