During what has been a challenging time for most Americans, Cyber Week will be regarded as one of the most positive weeks of 2020 – at least for brands. It’s no secret that small- to medium-sized businesses have spent the better part of the year struggling to survive in the wake of COVID-19’s disruption of life and commerce. For those that adapted to the rise in e-commerce, the five-day stretch between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday was a much-needed relief.
This year’s Cyber Week broke just about every record possible. Not surprisingly, e-commerce dominated sales. A new report from Adobe Analytics, which analyzed one trillion visits and 100 million SKUs from 80 of the 100 largest retailers in the U.S., found that Cyber Week generated a total of $34.4 billion, a 20.7% YoY increase from 2019. More than a third of this spending took place dying Cyber Monday, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history.
From a broader perspective, one of the biggest differences about this year’s Cyber Week was its role in the overall holiday shopping season. Traditionally, Black Friday kicks off holiday spending, but this year’s season began more than a month early. What followed was a November packed with e-commerce deals to harness the purchasing momentum of shoppers who spent an estimated $10.4 billion during Amazon Prime Day – and it worked. “Black November,” as many analysts have called it, generated a whopping $106.5 billion to reach a YoY growth of 27.7%.
While each day during Cyber Week achieved considerable YoY growth, performance was slightly less than anticipated. Adobe projected Cyber Monday sales to grow by 35.5%, but it came in at only 15.1%. This is also less than Cyber Monday’s 2019 YoY growth, which reached 19.7%. The largest increase in spending during Cyber week was neither Black Friday nor Cyber Monday, but rather, Small Business Saturday. This aligns with Amazon’s report that Cyber Week saw a heavy spike in 3rd party sales on the platform. While Amazon hasn’t released total revenue numbers for Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, it did reveal the following data:
- Independent businesses selling on Amazon surpassed $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, an increase of over 60% from last year.
- More than 71,000 small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide have surpassed $100,000 in sales this holiday season to date.
- American small- and medium-sized businesses have sold an average of 9,500 products per minute this holiday season to date.
Another interesting takeaway from this year’s Cyber Week was the role that social media played. According to Adobe, social media drove one out of ten visits to retail websites, a 17% YoY increase. That said, this traffic resulted in only 3% of digital sales, leaving room for improvement next year. As far as sales by device, mobile accounted for 46.5% on Thanksgiving and 40% on Black Friday, an increase of 25.3% for the latter. In total, mobile sales generated 39% of all digital sales in November, reaching $39.6 billion.
One of the most surprising metrics from Cyber Week was which retailer enjoyed the greatest growth in online sales. All eyes were on Amazon – the world’s largest e-commerce platform – and Walmart, which has been aggressively ramping up its online marketplace throughout the year. Surprisingly, neither took the number one spot. Dominating YoY growth this Cyber Week was Etsy, the e-commerce platform specializing in handmade items and craft supplies.
CHANNEL KEY TAKEAWAY
Cyber Week 2020 has come and gone, but it will go down in history as one of the most pivotal – and lucrative – shopping events in history. It marks a milestone in the relatively brief history of e-commerce. Much of this is due to COVID-19, which forced both businesses and customers to shift to online platforms. This change in shopping behavior will likely continue even in a post-pandemic world. In a way, the 2020 holiday shopping season served as a test for the role that e-commerce will play in our daily lives moving forward. The record-breaking sales for not just Cyber Week, but all of November, prove that more and more customers feel comfortable shopping online. For brands that embrace this seismic shift in consumer behavior, the future looks bright.
About Channel Key
Channel Key is a full-service channel management marketplace consulting agency that has helped generate $250M in Amazon sales for retail brands around the world. Complete 360-degree services include marketplace strategies, content development, marketing and advertising, catalog management, marketplace and fulfillment setup, ongoing consulting, and much more. To learn about how Channel Key can help increase sales for your business, contact us today for a free consultation.