Cyber Five was full of surprises.
The promotional sales period between Thanksgiving and the following Monday, known as Cyber Monday, unexpectedly breaks records this year. US shoppers spent a whopping $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday alone, providing insights into current consumer behavior and trends.
According to Adobe, which compiles the data, this was the highest revenue from an online shopping day in history. The National Retail Federation also had some groundbreaking information. Cyber Five had the largest number of consumers ever tracked since the NRF began conducting research, a total of 196.7 million consumers during the five days.
Items that ranked high on shopping lists were toys, digital cameras and drones, while the stores that saw the most crowds were primarily department stores and toy stores. According to data from Adobe, electronics reached an all-time high when it comes to lowered prices, offering discounts of 25%.
The results were surprising, mostly due to financial circumstances which made consumer habits this year difficult to predict. While the unemployment rate remains low, the effects of inflation cannot be ignored and could be one of the reasons why consumers sought to make the best of these sales ahead of the holiday season.
Another unforeseen trend is that in-person shopping increased in comparison to the previous year. More than 122.7 million people visited brick-and-mortar stores during the weekend, indicating that fear of COVID-19 may be subsiding.
“What we saw was a combination of factors really driving consumers to take advantage of some of the season's best sales and deals. One is certainly some pent-up demand. We also saw that consumers who are facing some headwinds from inflation and higher prices are very focused on finding value this year,” explained Katherine Cullen, senior director for industry and consumer insights at the NRF.
Adobe echoed the reasoning of pent-up consumer demand, finding that its research insights were able to back this analysis. The firm stated that while prices across 18 product categories remained flat in recent months, they grew drastically leading up to Cyber Monday, indicating that consumers were waiting for the best possible deals to hit the shopping cart.
Companies may need to rethink their business strategies leading into December seeing as these surprising results have shown discount shopping to be at an all-time high.