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Cyber Monday surges to $9.4B in sales

Daniella Genovese

Cyber Monday sales surged to a multi-billion-dollar record, easily surpassing last year's total to become the largest online shopping day of all time in the U.S.

Based on data from Adobe Analytics, sales swelled to $9.4 billion by the end of Cyber Monday, growing 19.7 percent year over year and beating last year's record of nearly $8 billion.

And it turns out, smartphones were the device of choice with mobile transactions raking in a record $3.1 billion -- the highest amount ever tallied using the ubiquitous devices.

"The coming days will reveal if retailers will extend their holiday sales more than years past due to the shortest possible remaining shopping season till Christmas," said Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights. "Whatever the case, companies offering fast fulfillment options like free one-day shipping or buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) will be well-positioned to help consumers purchase what they want in the few weeks left before Christmas."

During what's been dubbed by Adobe as the “golden hours of retail” -- the four hours between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET -- consumers drove 31 percent of all Cyber Monday revenue to $2.9 billion, as shoppers hit "order" before time ran out.

During the peak hours between 11 p.m. to midnight ET, consumers spent $12 million on average every minute.

Amazon announced Tuesday that Cyber Monday -- to no one's surprise -- scored the single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, based on the number of items ordered worldwide. However, it seems the old adage of a rising tide lifting all boats also set sail -- or sales -- on Monday.

Data from Adobe indicated that both larger and smaller retailers benefited extensively from consumers’ attention. Larger retailers, which received more than $1 billion in yearly revenue, saw an increase of sales of more than 540 percent while their smaller counterparts followed closely behind gaining more than $50 million in yearly revenue with a 337 percent increase in sales.

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“Retailers unlocked sales earlier to combat a shorter shopping season, while continuing to drive up promotion of the big branded days including Black Friday and Cyber Monday," said John Copeland, head of marketing and consumer insights at Adobe. "Consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in.”

Top-selling items on Cyber Monday include toys from the hit movie, "Frozen 2," L.O.L Surprise Dolls, the video games "Madden 20" and "Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order," Nintendo Switch, VR devices, Samsung TVs and Apple laptops.

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The holiday shopping season, which began on "officially" on Nov. 1, has garnered a record $81.5 billion so far compared to the $71.5 billion spent during the same time period last year.

“These changes in consumer spending patterns also highlight the importance of a physical store location. Many shoppers this year are picking up their online purchases in a local store (Buy Online, Pickup In Store or BOPIS, also called “click and collect” shoppers). Once they are in the store, three-quarters or more of online shoppers buy additional merchandise," said Calvin Schnure, senior economist at Nareit.

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