Despite An Early Start, Digital Holiday Sales Pushed Cyber Week To New High

If you, like me, suspect the digital holiday buying spree is starting earlier every year, you are correct. First, there was Cyber Monday, the post-Black Friday online shopping day. Then came Cyber Week — November 23-29 this year. And now we have Cyber November.

That is one of several trends that Salesforce found after analyzing global shopping data from more than a billion consumers. Online holiday shopping began on November 2, with U.S. consumers spending $136 billion — up 9% YOY — and global consumers spending $593 billion — up 3%, Salesforce said.
During Cyber Week itself, digital sales hit a new high in the U.S. at $62 billion, up 4% YOY. Digital sales saw moderate growth YOY across Thanksgiving (1% and $6.9 billion), Black Friday (5% and $13.4 billion), and Cyber Monday (3% and $11.3 billion) compared to 2020.
Global digital sales reached $275 billion, up 2% YOY — also a new high — for all of Cyber Week. The largest single shopping day online globally over Cyber Week was Black Friday — up 2%. 
“Cyber Week set a new record for online sales again this year even with demand smoothing out as the month went on," says Rob Garf, vice president and general manager of retail at Salesforce. "While there are lingering concerns over inbound supply chain bottlenecks, retailers have scaled their last-mile delivery capabilities to ensure orders are efficiently fulfilled in time for holiday festivities this season.” 
Other trends found in the data:
• Consumers experience higher prices and fewer discounts: Holiday inflation coupled with lower discounts meant deals were harder to find this year. Over Cyber Week, the average selling price was up 11% in the U.S. and 5% globally compared to last year. Meanwhile, the average discount over Cyber Week was 26% in the U.S. (down 8% YOY) and 24% globally (down 8%).
• Consumers financed gifts in the face of inflation: With higher prices and fewer discounts, shoppers still purchased goods and chose to embrace buy now, pay later (BNPL) offerings. Globally, BNPL usage over Cyber Week grew 29% YOY (8% of all orders) with over $22 billion in holiday orders financed. On Black Friday, 7% of global orders and 4% U.S. orders were BNPL.
The holiday supply-chain crunch left shoppers with fewer gift options: Early and persistent supply chain issues meant digital shelves were not as well stocked as in years past. The number of products being sold over Cyber Week shrank 6% in the U.S. and 6% globally compared to last year. Last year they grew 5% in the U.S. and 1% globally when non-essential retail stores were still shuttered due to the pandemic.
• Order online, pick up in-store popularity: Consumers continued to prioritize health, safety, convenience, and trust this Cyber Week as orders placed with confidence from home and picked up at the store grew 50% higher in the U.S. than retailers not offering curbside or in-store pickup options on Black Friday. 



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