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Cyber Monday may have just broken a new record to be the largest US online sales day in history, but don’t count on it being the perennial title holder.
Online sales on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend rose 12% to a record $3.45 billion, according to Adobe, which tracks 23 billion visits to retail sites. However, just as noteworthy is the fact that Black Friday is now a critical online sales day. In fact, based on the growth rate of Black Friday online sales, the day that’s traditionally known for storming brick-and-mortar stores for deals could very well become the top online sales day of the year, and that could happen as soon as next year.
Cyber Monday has been the largest online sales day since Adobe started tracking retail ecommerce spending in 2012. But Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales have more than doubled since then, outpacing Cyber Monday’s growth rate, as retailers from Wal-Mart and Amazon to Best Buy and Target push holiday promotions earlier than ever and spread them out over a longer period.
Retailers said there’s a consumer demand for that: Three out of four Wal-Mart customers said they want to shop online deals earlier, the company said.
Black Friday online sales this year surged nearly 22% to $3.34 billion, beating even 2015 Cyber Monday’s sales record, to be the second largest online sales day ever, according to Adobe. It said this is the smallest gap yet between Black Friday online sales and Cyber Monday’s.
In fact, looking solely at mobile sales, Black Friday was already the biggest sales day—it has outpaced Cyber Monday for two straight years.
Retailers’ efforts to entice shoppers to buy earlier than ever also may be undercutting Cyber Monday’s importance in a different way: This year, daily online sales topped $1 billion 10 times in the days leading up to (and including) Black Friday, according to comScore. In comparison, only Thanksgiving and Black Friday crossed that mark during the same time last year.
Meanwhile, the number of shoppers who plan on shopping online on Cyber Monday has fallen from highs reached earlier this decade. According to the National Retail Federation’s Cyber Monday Expectations survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 122 million Americans said they planned to shop on Cyber Monday this year. That’s slightly higher than last year’s 121 million, but well below the 131.6 million in 2013.
Meanwhile, the survey showed online shoppers on the Thanksgiving weekend this year hit a record 108.4 million.
In fact, the name “Cyber Monday” is giving way to new terms. Target and Wal-Mart now make reference to “Cyber Week,” and Amazon uses the phrase “Cyber Monday Deals Week.”
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