Ever since Cyber Monday became a “thing” in 2005, it was the digital shopping day of the holiday season, when consumers leveraged their fast corporate networks to buy online. But like last year, Black Friday has emerged as the biggest digital shopping day of the season. And despite impressive 15% growth this year on Cyber Monday, the day itself has lost its punch as the one day to score digital deals. Why? Consumers have pulled their shopping earlier, transforming Wednesday through Sunday into the new heart of the online shopping season.
Here are the four key takeaways from Cyber Monday 2017:
Cyber Monday is still a critical shopping day
Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the rest of Cyber Weekend brought big gains to ecommerce this year. All that digital shopping happening early in the season begs the question, “Why does Monday still matter?” The very term “Cyber” Monday feels as antiquated as “information superhighway.” Further, deals are essentially available starting on Wednesday. Shoppers don’t need to wait for the office T1 line to get a speedy connection. One big reason: retail’s seemingly never-ending mandate to beat the previous year’s results, which typically means ‘anniversarying’ last year’s deal.
An interesting tidbit: average order value (AOV) is smaller on Monday than Friday, by about $10. This is due in large part to deeper discounts on Monday than on Friday, and lower (or no) free shipping thresholds. Both of those have a lot to do with anniversarying last year’s deal, year-in-year-out, for the days when we would wait for Monday to buy. For now, Cyber Monday lives on as the second-biggest shopping day of the holiday season.
Shoppers not quite so mobile on Monday
Sure, mobile makes headlines, but this Monday’s mobile behavior fell in line with the previous Cyber Monday trend; shoppers revert to purchasing on computers. Amidst the migration to mobile, Monday is a day when shoppers are in front of computers (we’re looking at you, corporate denizens shopping in your cubes), and thus mobile traffic FELL on Monday compared to pre-peak shopping times. Make no mistake, though, mobile growth is still healthy, as shoppers placed 37% of orders and made 56% of visits from phones on Cyber Monday, outpacing last year’s values of 29% and 48%, respectively.
Personalization matters…even during the holiday shopping season
Conventional wisdom may dictate that shoppers are gifting, and that the impact of personalization would fall during the season. The reality, though, is that shoppers that engage with AI-powered product recommendations account for a greater share of revenue during Cyber Week than during a non-peak period. Overall, 5% of shoppers that engaged with AI-powered product recommendations accounted for 24% of revenue on Cyber Monday.
All about deep discounts and ubiquitous free shipping
While I can’t say that discounts are a surprise (as your inbox can attest), retailers gave up a bit more margin this year. While discounts edged up a fraction of a percentage point to 29% on Cyber Monday this year, free shipping also nudged higher, up to to 89% from 88% last year. Free shipping remains an expectation of the season, while retailers dug a bit deeper with discounting to solicit growth on Monday.
The first week of the season is complete, and with it more than one-third of digital holiday spend. By this time next week, shoppers will be done with half their digital shopping. Hang in there retailers — we can see the light!
Here’s the flash report for digital commerce on Cyber Monday:
|Metric||Value||Change From Last Year|
|Revenue Growth||15%||Up from 10%|
|Traffic Growth||13%||Up from 9%|
|Mobile Traffic Share||56%||Up from 48%|
|Mobile Order Share||37%||Up from 29%|
|Social Traffic Share||4.7%||Up 22%|
|Average Order Value||$103||Down from $106|
|Discount Rate||29%||Up from 28%|
|Free Shipping||89%||Up from 88%|
|% of Shoppers That Engaged with AI-Powered Product Recommendations||5%||New metric|
|% of Revenue Driven by AI-Powered Product Recommendations||24%||New metric|
Tune in today (Nov. 28) for the next episode of Retail Reality Check, on Facebook Live and Twitter, at 2PM EST for full analysis of the big three shopping days. And don’t miss our full Cyber Week recap on Monday 12/4. Wondering what else to expect this season? Here’s my take.
Finally, be sure to check out the quarterly Shopping Index for a regular analysis of the shopping activity of 500 million global online shoppers.
The shopping flash report provides a snapshot of digital commerce metrics, focusing on the busy Christmas/Holiday Shopping Season. The analysis reflects a comparison of digital commerce sites transacting during both last year’s and this year’s shopping season, across the globe, with a focus on direct-to-consumer brands and retailers North America and Europe. The data presented here is not indicative of Salesforce Commerce Cloud operational performance.