Cyber Weekend: Just How Big a Deal?

No doubt you’ve been tracking the Cyber Week data as it’s been rolling in, and we have to say things are looking better than anticipated. Adobe cited that more than $5B in sales was recorded on Black Friday and $6.5B on Cyber Monday. And retailers were cautiously optimistic too, reporting record-breaking online traffic, and the market rewarded them with increases in stock price on the heels of that good news.

And the shifts in shopper behavior were as clear this: nearly half of all Cyber Monday transactions took place on mobile.

So what did we see in the data? Download our full report here, but in the meantime here were the three key themes.

Promotions Were High (But They Pretty Much Always Are)

Our data showed that over the weekend, the average promotional offer was 40.5%, which was an increase of only 2 percentage points from the previous week. What does this mean? That retailers started early – and we’ve seen many of them engaging in this level for months.

Of course, you saw players who rarely get into the promotions game offer a sale, and some noteworthy ones included Reformation at 30% sitewide, Madewell offering 25% off sitewide, Zara offering 30% off select pieces, and Aritzia offering between 10-50% off all merchandise.

Some of the trends we saw to keep promo-weary shoppers on their toes included: early access to discounts, tiered discounts depending on spend level, and last-season merchandise (especially for the Premium players) added in major quantities to the sale rack. We think the ‘selected items on sale’ is a smart strategy to increasing add-on purchases – get someone to buy something on sale, and there’s a high likelihood they’ll also add a full-price item to that cart.

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75% of Mid-Tier Department Stores Inventory Was Marked Down

It’s looking like a fire sale if you’re in the middle. Macy’s, Lord + Taylor, and Kohl’s went (almost) all-in across their inventories.

For the rest of the market, we saw the amount of assortments and the discount amounts go up from the previous week, but it wasn’t a jarring amount. The biggest changes in how much of their assortment was on sale were in the Value and Premium sectors, yet they retained the lowest percentage of items on sale overall.

discounting black friday, cyber monday

Not including additional promotional (coupon) offers, the average discount amount for Value was 43%, Mid – 45%, Premium – 43% and Specialty Retail – 41%, remarkably similar between sectors.

How will this play out over the following weeks? Based on historical trends, we anticipate these discount levels to remain at near-Cyber Weekend levels throughout the season.

Outerwear Is Doing Alright

It’s the seasonal category that everyone tracks closely – and it can make or break the year’s financials if inventory levels are misaligned with the market (and mother nature.)

outerwear cyber monday, black friday

Unsurprisingly, we saw major discounts happening in this category over the weekend (the cross-industry average was north of 40%), and the results are looking initially positive – with 11% of outerwear assortments selling out.

The weather will be a major factor in how this plays out over the season – but the data indicates that retailers’ have had a moderately successful first major inventory push.

These are just the highlights of our full Cyber Weekend report. Find out what wasn’t on sale, how much sold out across the market, and whether Cyber Weekend has evolved into a global phenomenon. Get your copy here.

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