Cyber Monday breaks record for biggest online sales day in history

Cyber Monday background in style of old 8-bit video games.

With more and more consumers opting to avoid long lines and shop online instead this holiday shopping season, it probably won’t come as a surprise that 2016’s Cyber Monday has earned the distinction of being the biggest online sales day in US history.

According to Adobe, Americans spent $3.39 billion online yesterday, slightly more than the $3.34 billion Adobe estimated was spent on Black Friday.

The $3.39 billion figure represents a 10.2% year-over-year increase. While Cyber Monday sales through mobile devices, at $1.19 billion, were slightly lower than Black Friday sales through mobile devices, which came in at $1.2 billion. Cyber Monday’s mobile sales saw a whopping 48% year-over-year jump, significantly higher than the 33% year-over-year growth in mobile sales seen on Black Friday.

Combined, search ads and direct traffic drove the majority of sales on Cyber Monday, but Adobe noted “both are down compared to the holiday average.” Email accounted for nearly 20% of sales, and as was seen on Black Friday, sites like RetailMeNot and CNET grew in importance, generating 18.5% of sales.

A gravy train

According to Tamara Gaffney, a principal analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, Cyber Monday managed to surpass expectations despite the fact that retailers offered up plenty of bargains last week:

Cyber Monday is on track to be the biggest online shopping day ever, surpassing our forecast by almost $27 million or 0.8 percent. This indicates that consumers still had more appetite for online shopping despite the incredible volume of online sales on Black Friday. Prices are expected to start climbing after today as retailers shift attention to extend the season late into December with quick shipping deals and the option to click and collect in store.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to put the exclamation marks on the holiday shopping season for retailers, but Adobe estimates that between November 1 and November 28, consumers spent $39.9 billion online, with 27 out of those 28 days seeing more than $1 billion in spending. This demonstrates that the holiday shopping season is no longer defined by a single day.

And while the biggest revenue opportunities are now behind them, December isn’t without opportunity either and savvy retailers will spend the coming weeks trying just as hard to capitalize on consumers’ hunger for deals.

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