Consumers spent a total of $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday (November 27), according to final Adobe Analytics data, up 9.6 percent from $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday 2022, which was the previous single biggest online spending day of all time.

The 2023 take also surpassed Adobe’s initial projection of $12 billion.

Holiday Season Off To Strong Start
Overall, Adobe said Cyber Week (online retail sales for the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) brought in $38 billion overall, up 7.8 percent YoY (year-over-year). It was bolstered by record spending online during Thanksgiving ($5.6 billion, up 5.5 percent YoY), Black Friday ($9.8 billion, up 7.5 percent YoY) and over the weekend ($10.3 billion, up 7.7 percent YoY).

Season-to-date (Nov. 1 to Nov. 27), consumers have now spent $109.3 billion online, up 7.3 percent YoY. Over half (60 percent) of this spend was driven by five categories including electronics ($21.7 billion), apparel ($19.2 billion), furniture ($14.7 billion), grocery ($6.8 billion) and toys ($3.1 billion)—key growth drivers now in the digital economy. Adobe expects the full holiday season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31) will hit $221.8 billion, growing 4.8 percent YoY.

“The 2023 holiday shopping season began with a lot of uncertainty, as consumers shifted their spending to services while dealing with rising costs across different facets of their lives,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights. “The record online spending across Cyber Week; however, shows the impact that discounts can have on consumer demand, especially with quality products that drove a lot of impulse shopping.”

Cyber Monday Insights
In the peak hour (10:00 to 11:00 pm EST), consumers spent $15.7 million every minute on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday remains the biggest online shopping day of all time, with many shoppers waiting to grab major discounts in categories such as electronics (peaking at 31 percent off listed price), toys (27 percent), apparel (23 percent), furniture (21 percent) and appliances (18 percent).

On Cyber Monday, apparel was a clear winner, with online sales growing 189 percent compared to an average day in October 2023. Other categories with strong demand included appliances (up 166 percent) and toys (up 140 percent), as well as furniture (up 129 percent), electronics (up 103 percent), jewelry (up 99 percent) and sporting goods (up 95 percent).

Top sellers on Cyber Monday included toys such as Hot Wheels, Mario Kart toys, Disney Pixar Cars toys, Disney Junior Minnie Mouse toys and playsets, and LEGOs. Top-selling gaming consoles included Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch—and top games included Spiderman 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, NBA 2k24, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Other top sellers included skincare gift sets, small kitchen appliances (blenders, mixers, coffee pots), TVs, smart watches, activity trackers, and Bluetooth headphones.

Buy Now Pay Later hits all-time high on Cyber Monday
While consumers showed a strong appetite to shop online, many are giving themselves greater flexibility with their budgets. On Cyber Monday, ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) usage hit an all-time high, contributing $940 million in online spend, up a staggering 42.5 percent YoY. The number of items per order also rose 11 percent YoY, as shoppers used BNPL for increasingly larger carts. Season to date (Nov. 1 to Nov. 27), BNPL has driven a total of $8.3 billion, up 17 percent YoY; November 2023 is expected to be the biggest month on record for the payment method.

Additional Adobe Analytics Insights  

  • Mobile shopping overtakes desktop: Thanksgiving set a new bar for mobile shopping, with 59 percent of online sales coming through a smartphone (compared to 55 percent in 2022). Usage remained high across Cyber Week, with smartphones driving 51.8 percent of online sales (up from 49.9 percent in 2022). Mobile has become a key growth driver in the digital economy, and the increased usage shows that many consumers now find the experience on par with desktop shopping.
  • Discounts hit record high: On Cyber Monday, consumers found great deals in electronics, where discounts peaked at 31 percent off the list price (vs. 25 percent in 2022). Discounts were strong across the majority of categories tracked by Adobe with computers at 24 percent (vs. 20 percent), televisions at 19 percent (vs. 17 percent), apparel at 23 percent (vs. 18 percent), sporting goods at 15 percent (vs. 10 percent), furniture at 21 percent (vs. 8 percent), and appliances at 18 percent (vs. 16 percent). Discounts for toys; however, came in below last year’s levels at 27 percent (vs. 34 percent).
  • Deals will continue: After Cyber Week, discounts will come down from their peaks, but shoppers can still find good deals in appliances (peaking at 20 percent off listed price), toys (15 percent), computers (16 percent), apparel (14 percent) and furniture (11 percent). Monday (Dec. 4) will be the best day to shop for those in the market for sporting goods, with discounts set to peak at 21 percent off the list price.
  • Curbside pickup used less this year: As shoppers leveraged favorable shipping terms and more returned to physical stores, usage of curbside pickup remained modest during Cyber Week. The fulfillment method was used in 12.7 percent of online orders from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (for retailers that offer the service), down from 14.8 percent in the year prior. In the same time period, 80 percent of online orders leveraged standard shipping.
  • Impact of marketing investments: Across major marketing channels, paid search remained the biggest driver of sales for retailers across Cyber Week (27 percent of online sales). Direct (21 percent), organic search (17 percent), email (15 percent), and affiliates/partners (12 percent) were also major contributors. Revenue directly attributable to social media remained at less than 5 percent of total sales during Cyber Week, but that share has grown 6 percent YoY.
  • Impact of inflation: Strong consumer spending this season has also been driven by net-new demand, not simply higher prices. The Adobe Digital Price Index, which tracks online prices across 18 product categories (complements the BLS’ Consumer Price Index, which also includes prices for offline-only products and services like gasoline and rent) shows that e-commerce prices have fallen for over a year now (down 6 percent YoY in Oct. 2023). Adobe’s numbers are not adjusted for inflation, but if online inflation were factored in, there would be even higher growth in topline consumer spend.

*Adobe’s analysis covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud, which is used by over 85 percent of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S.

Photo courtesy Banana Republic