Cyber Monday shoppers on track to hit a record $9.4 billion, Adobe says

Key Points
  • Cyber Monday shoppers have already spent $473 million online, as of 9 a.m. ET, according to data released by Adobe Analytics.
  • Cyber Monday online sales are on track to hit $9.4 billion.
  • Last year, Cyber Monday sales hit $7.9 billion.
Big tech platforms have consumer data histories to inform advertising strategies, but lack of personalization in ads is still a big problem for the e-commerce industry.
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Holiday shoppers aren't headed to the store today. But they're still spending.

Cyber Monday shoppers have already spent $473 million in online sales, as of 9 a.m. ET, according to data released by Adobe Analytics, which monitors the online transactions of 80 of the top 100 web retailers in the U.S.

Cyber Monday online sales are on track to hit $9.4 billion, or 18.9% year-over-year growth, according to preliminary data, Adobe said.

Between 10 p.m. ET Monday and 2 a.m. ET Tuesday, Adobe is expecting shoppers to spend $2.8 billion, 30% of the day's revenue. Shoppers are expected to spend $11 million per minute during the peak hour of 11:00 p.m. ET and midnight ET, as they jump on deals before they end.

As extreme weather hits some areas of the country, shoppers may be even more motivated to do their shopping from home. States that saw more than 2 inches of snow also saw a 7% boost in online sales, Adobe said.

The top sellers so far in toys include "Frozen 2," L.O.L Surprise Dolls and Paw Patrol, while top video games and consoles include Madden 20, FIFA 20 and Nintendo Switch. Samsung TVs, Apple laptops and Amazon Echo are among the most popular electronic products, according to Adobe.

Last year, Cyber Monday sales hit $7.9 billion.

This year, shoppers didn't wait until Cyber Monday to start their online shopping. Retailers began sales in early November and lines were thin at stores on Black Friday as deals began on Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday was predicted to be the busiest shopping day of the year in the U.S. for shoppers to head out to stores, but even on that day people were loading up online shopping carts. Online spending hit a record of $5.4 billion, up 22.3% from a year ago, according to Adobe data Sunday night.

A retail expert explains the big winners of Black Friday
A retail expert explains the big winners of Black Friday

Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods and other big-box retailers are the big winners so far this holiday season, Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group told CNBC Monday morning.

"The department stores are still a little bit slower," Telsey said.

These big-box stores have proven themselves in online sales. Walmart and Target both saw bigger jumps than Amazon in online customer spending during the first two weeks of November from last year, according to Edison Trends, which looked at more than 1.2 million transactions.

Nordstrom saw the biggest increase in online sales during Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared with last year, at 60%, followed by Walmart at 53% and Amazon at 49%, according to an analysis of about 300,000 transactions done by Edison Trends. Target saw its online sales fall around 12% during that same period, while J.C. Penney's fell around 14%.

As retailers battle Amazon and one another for customers, they are investing in e-commerce enhancements and integrating their e-commerce options with brick-and-mortar stores. Stores have been adding more products to their online shops and offering new ways for customers to shop, such as in-store pickup of items ordered online and direct shipping. Buy online and pick up in store as well as curbside pickup services since Nov. 1 have seen a 43.2% growth from last year, according to Adobe.

Smartphones have been a prime shopping tool this season, accounting for 36.1% of online sales so far, 24.1% higher than last year, according to Adobe.

Retailers aren't necessarily hiking their discounts from last year to snag customers. The majority of retailers' promotions on Black Friday were flat this year compared with last year, according to a survey of 54 retailers by Jefferies. Promotions from 33 retailers, including Gap, were flat compared with last year. Meanwhile, 18 saw higher promos, including L Brands' Victoria's Secret and Pink, and 3 saw lower promos than last year, including Ugg.

Shoppers have so far spend a record $72.1 billion online between Nov. 1 and Dec.1. The past weekend alone brought in $7.4 billion in online sales, setting shoppers on track to hit $143.7 billion in online sales for the full holiday season.