Money & The Economy

Cyber Monday Sales Drop For First Time Ever

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Cyber Monday online sales dropped for the first time ever as consumers experienced fewer discounts and began their holiday shopping earlier than in previous years.

Consumers spent $10.7 billion on Monday, a 1.4% decrease compared to the same day in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics, CNBC reported. Monday’s figure marks the first time that Adobe recorded a decrease in spending on one of the nation’s busiest online shopping days since the firm first reported on e-commerce in 2012.

The holiday shopping season will still see record-breaking e-commerce activity overall, though, as consumers began purchases earlier than in previous years, Adobe Analytics reported.

Consumers spent $109.8 billion on e-commerce platforms between Nov.1 and Monday, an 11.9% year-over-year increase, Adobe reported. Consumers bought over $3 billion worth of goods over just 22 of the days between Nov. 1 and Monday.

“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights, said, according to CNBC.

“Over the last few years consumers have shifted their holiday shopping plans to start earlier in the season,” Matthew Shay, chief executive of the National Retail Federation (NRF), said in a report released Tuesday.

Consumers spent $10.8 billion in online sales on cyber Monday in 2020, when more people remained at home amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, marking a record day for e-commerce activity in the U.S, according to CNBC.

Supply chain disruptions contributed to consumers planning ahead and beginning their holiday season purchasing earlier than in previous years, according to the NRF report. Out-of-stock messages on the internet surged 8% from the week ending Nov. 28, and these messages are up 169% in November compared to pre-pandemic levels and 258% compared to the holiday season of 2019.

Discount levels were also lower compared to in previous years, discouraging shoppers from searching for deals and spending money amid a season of widespread, inflated prices, according to the NRF report.

Discount levels for electronics were markedly down, just 12% on cyber Monday compared to 27% the same day in 2020. Apparel discounts were also just 18% on average compared to 20% in 2020, and appliances saw an average discount level of 8% compared to 20% during the 2020 holiday season.

The NRF, like Adobe, expects strong retail sales overall during November and December, projecting spending to increase to a record 8.5% to 10.5% and total as much as $859 billion. The average increase over the past five years was just 4.4%, the NRF report said.

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