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Cyber Monday sales expected to break record

By Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Business News

Cyber Monday is expected to become the largest online shopping day in history as more consumers decide to digitally fill their holiday stockings this year instead of venturing out to brick-and-mortar stores.

Adobe Analytics predicts Monday could bring in between $10.8 billion and $12.7 billion in online sales, or between 15% and 35% more than last year.

"Cyber Monday is on track to break all previous records for online sales," Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, said in a Monday morning statement.

Retailers started offering online deals in October, trying to spread out consumers' purchases and keep crowds down at physical stores because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Consumers will likely take advantage of the best discounted items today like TVs, toys and computers before price levels start creeping back up throughout the rest of the season," Schreiner said. "Shoppers are encouraged to do their gift buying soon as shipping in time for Christmas will get more expensive in the coming weeks."

Beyond the deals that started more than a month ago, retailers also kicked off Black Friday specials online as well in the stores. Most closed on Thanksgiving, but still offered the deals early online.

 

Big box traffic was slow in the early mornings of Friday, and mall traffic also was down significantly from last year with the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., reporting foot traffic 60% less throughout the weekend than it was last year. However, malls still saw a noticeable uptick in foot traffic from earlier during the pandemic with customers lined up outside numerous stores that were limiting capacity at the Mall of America and Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan, Minn.

Shoppers didn't only turn to general retailers for their gifts. Smaller businesses saw success with online revenue growth of 294% on Saturday compared to an average day in October, according to Adobe. Consumers spent a record of $4.7 billion online on Small Business Saturday, representing more than a 30% increase compared to last year.

Overall, analytics company GlobalData reported Monday that holiday spending on Black Friday deals through the weekend showed Americans spent a total of $62.45 billion, an increase of 2.1% over the same period last year. Spending on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday collapsed as many consumers had already took advantage of early deals and many shoppers didn't travel to stores.

"Retailers will be pleased with overall Black Friday trading," said Neil Saunders, GlobalData managing director, in a statement. "However, the new pattern of business will produce some winners and losers. Those, like department stores, that rely on strong foot traffic to malls will have suffered more than those with a strong multichannel offer. There will also be increased costs from having to fulfill a higher volume of online orders."

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