Cyber Monday online sales globally are on pace to rise 12% above last year to $30 billion (from $26 billion last year), according to Salesforce research emailed to Retail Dive. In the U.S., the day's digital sales are expected to grow 15% year over year to $8 billion from $7 billion last year, according to the report.
Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions from 80 of 100 major U.S. online retailers, tops that, forecasting a new record of $9.4 billion in sales, an 18.9% increase over last year. By 9 a.m. Eastern time Cyber Monday, merchants had already done $473 million in online business, Adobe said.
Marketing for the holiday sales event began in earnest on Sunday and promotions echoed Black Friday price cuts, Telsey Advisory Group analysts said in emailed comments. Discounting "has intensified from luxury on down," according to a note from MKM Partners.
For years now, Cyber Monday has served to extend the Thanksgiving-Black Friday sales event, and this year the trends observed over the weekend are expected to hold true, if not intensify.
That includes the fact that mobile shopping was the preferred method for more people than in years past, as shoppers more than ever took care of their holiday to-do lists online, and that heavy promotions were the biggest draw. Even luxury players appear to be forced to slash prices, in part a consequence of a bankrupt Barneys clearing its inventory, which is being felt at higher-end department stores like Neiman Marcus, according to MKM Partners.
That's designed to move the merchandise in a shortened selling period, according to a client note from Wedbush. "This year, we see retailers focused on discounting to clear goods quickly compared to last year's strategy of putting more weight into customer loyalty programs, private label branded credit cards and other promotional strategies designed to increase membership and incentivize loyalty," Wedbush analysts led by Jen Redding said.
The trends toward more online shopping and heavy discounts are likely to hurt malls and department stores most, but some of their Black Friday struggles are "self-inflicted," according to MKM Partners Managing Director Roxanne Meyer, whose team found discounting at mall-based retailers of between 30% and 50% off, in line with last year.
"Roughly half anniversaried Black Friday weekend/Cyber Monday promotions from [last year] ... while the other half saw an uptick due to company-specific merchandise issues," Meyer said. "We don't believe store-level promotions tell the whole story given the significant number of sale and clearance SKUs online..."
Cyber Monday's benefits aren't just boosting larger retailers, according to Adobe, which said it will likely be the biggest sales day for small merchants as well.