On the heels of a record-breaking Black Friday, a subtle sense of relief could be felt — albeit briefly — throughout the marketing community as Cyber Monday closed out an intense week for marketers.
By the end of Cyber Monday, a record $9.4 billion was spent online in the U.S., according to Adobe Analytics, setting the record as the largest online shopping day in U.S. history. The firm also indicated that mobile transactions drove $3.1 billion of Cyber Monday sales, representing the highest year-over-year dollar growth for mobile.
Small businesses and DTC brands cashed in. Major brands and retailers weren’t the only ones surpassing expectations this year. Smaller e-commerce shops and direct-to-consumer brands also saw heavy traffic and high conversions during Cyber Week.
“On Cyber Monday, both large retailers (over $1B in yearly revenue) and small retailers (< $50M in yearly revenue) benefited greatly from consumers’ attention, as large retailers saw a +540% boost in sales over an average day, while their smaller counterparts lagged slightly behind with a +337% increase,” said Adobe.
Shopify reported that over 25.5 million consumers made a purchase from Shopify merchants over the weekend. Meanwhile, independent third-party sellers in Amazon’s stores — primarily small and medium-sized businesses — sold more items during Cyber Monday 2019 than any other 24-hour period in the company’s history, said Amazon.
Cyber Week is growing globally. Shopify reported that from the start of Black Friday through the end of Cyber Monday, merchants from over 175 countries sold over $2.9 billion. “These unprecedented sales demonstrate the power of borderless commerce and how independent businesses and direct-to-consumer brands around the world have become the heroes of Black Friday/Cyber Monday,” said Shopify.
Salesforce reported a growth rate of 11% in U.S. digital sales since last year, while global digital revenue grew by 13%, reaching $30 billion. This represents healthy growth — and share — across Cyber Week.
The steep growth could be attributed to the mobile impact on Cyber Monday. “Smartphone traffic has eclipsed desktop in traffic for a few years now and continues to make gains in conversion impact. Smartphones are also changing when consumers buy,” wrote Marketing Land editor-in-chief Ginny Marvin.
Paid search and social. Paid search ads drove a large volume of Cyber Monday traffic. Adobe indicated that 24.1% of e-commerce site visits came from a paid search ad, while direct traffic represented 22.5% of visits.
Despite driving a growing share of web visits to e-commerce websites, social channels struggled to convert site visits to sales. Adobe Analytics found just 2.1% of Cyber Monday sales attributed to social media. However, note that Adobe’s data skews desktop compared to Salesforce and Shopify’s numbers, and the vast majority of social ad spend occurs on mobile devices.
A heavy lift for email and SMS. Marketers relied heavily on email and SMS to reach customers on Cyber Monday. Salesforce reported 4.7 billion emails sent, representing 18% growth in volume over last year’s shopping event. SMS and push notifications saw a much bigger increase in volume, with 42 million SMS and push notifications deployed, up 134% from 2018.