Every Cyber Week has brought an acceleration of digital trends, but 2020 brought a whirlwind of changes that would have been impossible to predict before the pandemic. Growth in ecommerce was expected just like every other year, but 2020 also brought an unexpected surge in trends like curbside pickup and early shopping.

Cyber Week: The five-day holiday shopping period encompassing Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday; also referred to as Cyber 5 or Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM).

Foot traffic to brick-and-mortar store traffic was down while online shopping was high from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, with the outlying days also seeing increases in digital traffic. In this article, we’ll dive into the stats and trends that have defined the Cyber Weeks of years past in preparation for Cyber Week 2021.

COVID-19 Impacts on Cyber Week

For the first time since the late 1980s, Walmart stores were closed on Thanksgiving last year to avoid overcrowding their stores in the midst of the pandemic. Other major brick-and-mortar retailers including Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods that traditionally host major in-store sales on Thanksgiving followed suit.

Online shopping grew 21.5% on Thanksgiving Day.

With store closures and personal safety concerns in mind, only 41% of shoppers planned to shop in stores for Black Friday 2020, down from 61% in 2019. Online shopping made up the difference plus a bit more, growing nearly 22% year-over-year to reach a record $9 billion.

30% of shoppers said pandemic safety precautions like crowd control would improve their Black Friday shopping experience last year, but better deals and lower prices still won out as the top priority for consumers at 35%. The difference was more stark on Thanksgiving, when 47% of consumers prioritized deals and 23% voiced COVID-19 safety concerns.

To accommodate for increased holiday demand while prioritizing COVID-19 safety precautions, many retailers also expanded their buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services – and they won out. Consider these stats about BOPIS during BFCM 2020:

  • Retailers offering BOPIS and curbside pickup increased digital revenue by 29% compared to 20% for retailers without these options
  • Curbside pickup on Black Friday increased 52% year-over-year.
  • Digital revenue from curbside pickup during Cyber Week grew 95% YoY in 2020.
  • Retailers that offered curbside services on Thanksgiving had 31% higher conversions in website traffic.

Amazon saw slightly lower sales over the Cyber 5 period, but that can likely be attributed to Prime Day 2020 taking place in October instead of July due to pandemic delays. Retailers around the globe also spread their holiday sales throughout the last three months of the year to get around supply chain issues, which can help explain the lower-than-expected Cyber 5 sales.

Cyber Week 2020 Stats + Trends

2020 was the year ecommerce jumped ahead to numbers that weren’t expected to be hit until 2025, so it’s no surprise that 22% more shoppers participated in Cyber Week 2020 compared to 2019. Total Cyber Week 2020 US digital sales hit an all-time high of $60 billion, reaching $270 billion globally.

Black Friday was more ecommerce-focused than ever, with consumers spending a combined $6.3 million per minute online on Black Friday 2020. Mobile ordering accounted for 40% of total ecommerce spending on Black Friday after surging 25.3% year-over-year to a record $3.6 billion.

Globally, Cyber Monday 2020 sales clocked in a little lower than expected. Adobe cut its global online holiday sales forecast from $189 billion to $184 billion. Despite the decrease, holiday ecommerce sales still grew 30% around the world last year.

In the US, online Cyber Monday sales increased at less than half the projected rate, growing 15.1%. Cyber Monday 2020 was still another record-shattering online shopping holiday, with consumers spending a record $10.8 billion.

Cyber Monday 2020 was the largest digital sales day ever.

Last year’s Cyber Monday delivered more online revenue than ever, with consumer spend increasing by around 35% to $12.7 billion. This was a slowdown from Cyber Monday 2019’s online sales, which jumped 19.7% year-over-year to hit $9.4 billion.

Next Steps?

We wish you the best of luck in your holiday preparations! If you’re still solidifying your brand’s holiday plans or are looking ahead to 2022 planning, get in touch with an ROI expert to see how we can help. Our proven digital experts have been helping brands like yours exceed their digital marketing goals since the dawn of digital and are eager to help your brand identify critical untapped growth opportunities.