After years of unabated growth, Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales dipped for the first time last year, as many shops spread out deals over the entire Thanksgiving week or even further.
“With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” said Taylor Schreiner, Director at Adobe Digital Insights.
As Statista's Felix Richter notes, according to Adobe’s estimates, U.S. consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday last year, slightly down from $10.8 billion in 2020. Black Friday spending also just missed the 2020 record, coming in at $8.9 billion in 2021 vs. $9.0 billion the year before.
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The fact that the dedicated shopping holidays didn’t beat spending records last year doesn’t mean that shoppers were cutting back on their holiday spending generally. They merely spread it out throughout the holiday season. Between November 1 and November 29, U.S. consumers spent $109.8 billion online, up 11.9 percent from the same period in 2020. Moreover, 22 days exceeded $3 billion in online sales in November 2021, up from just 9 days in November 2020 and further proof of shoppers spending their holiday cash more evenly than before.
With all that said, do we even need Black Friday and Cyber Monday anymore? Well, it depends. While it certainly feels like the overabundance of discounts throughout the year has watered down the importance of special shopping days, people will always be willing to save money on genuinely good offers. So it’s up to the retailers to counter the deal fatigue with discounts that offer genuine savings instead of just marking down inflated original prices.