Black Friday & Cyber Monday; What Happened?

The dust has settled on another manic, blockbuster weekend of shopping. So how did retailers fare this year?

Overall, Black Friday and Cyber Monday was a success and a huge spending day for a lot of consumers. Shoppers spent a new record of $5 billion in just 24 hours. This is a 16.9% increase in spending online compared with Black Friday 2016, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights. Consumers purchased $6.59 billion online during Cyber Monday, with $1.59 billion of purchases made on smartphones. Overall, November has garnered up to $50 billion in online revenue.

What About Brick-and-Mortar stores?

Some reports are saying brick-and-mortar foot traffic slipped slightly compared to last year. According to early estimates from ShopperTrak, U.S. brick-and-mortar retail traffic decreased by 1%.  Analytics firm Retailnext actually puts that number a little higher, saying in-store foot traffic between Thanksgiving and Saturday was down closer to 3% compared to last year. Emptier stores and malls seem like a bad sign… However, with the growth of e-commerce and services like in-store pickup, it doesn’t mean retailers sales were shrinking, just that customers were using more convenient channels.

Brian Field, senior director of advisory services for ShopperTrak, states “the fact that shopper visits remained intact on Black Friday illustrates that physical retail is still highly relevant and, when done right, profitable,” Field said in a statement. Even though foot traffic decreased slightly, Field also claims that’s likely because “a greater number of brick-and-mortar retailers opted to close on Thanksgiving Day.”

Online Breaks Records (again)

With more consumers shopping online, many major retailers started ramping up online deals before Thanksgiving. Maybe you noticed that your inbox was flooded with promotions even a week beforehand. Adobe says that on Cyber Monday, online sales hit a record high at $6.59 billion, making this past Monday the largest online sales day in history. Overall web traffic to retail sites increased by 11.9% on Cyber Monday. And don’t forget about those mini shopping devices in your hands… Mobile set a new record representing 47.4% of  retail site visits.

Wondering which type of digital marketing drove sales? According to Adobe, Search advertising drove 22.4% of sales from paid media while direct traffic made up 26.9%.  Email marketing contributed to 19.7% sales.

That’s a lot of Stats on Black Friday/Cyber Monday.. Now What?

So what does this big pile of statistics tell us? Physical retail is relevant, but the shift to online continues to grow. Shoppers are willing to shop with you, but you have to make it convenient for them. One of the big reasons consumers choose to shop online is to avoid the chaos. People are kicking and screaming, you’re waiting out in the cold for the best deal, and you’re missing out on family time. You may be surprised to see less and less people storming storefronts as the years go on—but that doesn’t mean they aren’t shopping. They’re just shopping in the way that makes the most sense for them. And for many, many busy Americans, that’s from the comfort of their home… or screens.