Consumers Spent Less on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales in 2021

consumer spending on black friday and cyber monday sale

The Adobe Digital Economy Index revealed consumer spending for Cyber Monday was down 1.4% year-over-year (YoY). And for Black Friday it was down 1.3% YoY at $8.9B vs $9B (2020). Even though the numbers for Thanksgiving Day didn’t go down, spending, however, stayed flat at $5.1B.

Consumers Spent Less on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021

Considering the events of the past couple of years, which were primarily driven by the pandemic, the data is not as bleak.

The Adobe Digital Economy Index provides a comprehensive view of U.S. e-commerce. It does this by analyzing direct consumer transactions online covering over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories. According to the company, this is more than any other technology company or research organization. Based on Adobe Analytics, the data is the final online shopping figures for Cyber Monday and Cyber Week 2021.

Overall consumers spent a total of $10.7B on Cyber Monday. This is just $100 million short of the biggest online shopping day of the year in 2020 at $10.88B. Whether consumers were driven by great deals online or choosing to stay in because of the pandemic, the one-day $10.7B total is impressive.

According to Adobe, in the peak hour (11 pm-12 am ET / 8 pm-9 pm PT on the west coast), consumers were spending $12 million every minute. The total for Cyber Week, which is from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday) consumers spent a total of $33.98B.

Consumers Took Advantage of Early Specials

When Amazon announced Black Friday worthy deals in October, many people took advantage of the early sales. Add the supply chain issues, and consumers didn’t want to miss out if the problem was going to persist later into the holiday shopping season. This undoubtedly had some impact on the sales for Cyber Week.

Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights, expressed the same concern on the company blog. Adding, “Spread out e-commerce spending across the months of October and November, putting us on track for a season that still will break online shopping records.”

Without counting the early October specials, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 29 consumers have spent $109.8B online. This is a growth of 11.9% over last year, delivering 22 days of online sales with more than $3B.

Top Sellers and Trends

This year the top sellers on Cyber Monday were toys (Hot Wheels, Nerf toys, Baby Alive, Paw Patrol), video games (Just Dance 2022, Mario Party Superstars, Spider Man: Miles Morales), and electronics (AirPods, Apple Watches, Apple Pencils, laptops (HP, Lenovo and Dell).

When it comes to spending trends, Adobe reports the final price of shopping carts on Cyber Monday was up 13.9% this year. The increase is in part due to purchases of large ticket items and online inflation. The report says prices for e-commerce have been up for 17 consecutive months.

As far as discounts, the report says it was weak in 2021. For electronics, the discount was lower by more than 50% this year at -12% compared to last year when it was -27%. The rate was similar for sporting goods with -8% this year compared to -20% last year which is the exact numbers for appliances.

Other issues affecting shoppers were high out-of-stock messages, mobile shopping accounting for 39.7% of online sales, the popularity of curbside pickup, and the slight increase of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL).

Image: Depositphotos

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.