Cyber Monday: Shopping tradition built for staying home
Cyber Monday is a National Retail Federation (NRF)-coined term for the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is seen by many retailers and shoppers as the official kick-off to the online holiday shopping season.
Though Thanksgiving weekend has been the longtime traditional start of the official holiday shopping season, in recent years the space between prepping for and celebrating the holidays has spread out in a push for more time and opportunities to capture those dollars being spent.
Last year, a record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, an increase of 14 percent over 2018’s 165.8 million, the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics said, at nrf.com.
Online has continued to edge out in-store shopping in recent years, but shopping online on Black Friday managed to beat Cyber Monday at its own game in 20-19.
Last year, for the first time, Black Friday topped Cyber Monday as the busiest day for online shopping at 93.2 million shoppers on Friday compared with 83.3 million shoppers on Monday.
Whatever day — or days — consumers plan to focus on spending, online shopping will likely gain an even bigger edge this year since it's the most suited to navigating 2020's COVID-19 pandemic. NRF reports 96 percent of retailers surveyed expect their online holiday sales to increase.
In general, whether it's online or onsite, NRF reports consumers plan to spend $998 on average on items such as gifts ($650), food, decorations ($230) and other holiday-related purchases ($117) for themselves and their families.
According to an NRF survey, in 2019, 124 million people shopped in stores while 142.2 million shopped on retailers’ websites, while 75.7 million did both.
“(Last year,) consumers who shopped in both channels spent an average $366.79, spending at least 25 percent more than those who shopped in only one or the other.
Top gift purchases over the five-day weekend last year included apparel (bought by 58 percent of those surveyed), toys (33 percent), electronics (31 percent), books/music/movies/video games (28 percent) and gift cards (27 percent), NRF reported.
Shopping destinations last year included department stores (visited by 50 percent of those surveyed), clothing stores (36 percent), grocery stores (34 percent), electronics stores (32 percent) and discount stores (29 percent), according to NRF.