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Cyber Monday Sales Drop For The First Time Ever In 2021

This Cyber Monday, consumers spent upwards of $10.7 billion collectively on deals from their favorite online retailers. However, according to data from Adobe Analytics, this total marks a 1.4% decrease when compared to the lowest amount spent during Cyber Monday on record. 

Adobe Analytics initially began tracking e-commerce in 2012, and analyzes more than 1 trillion visits to retailer websites. This year’s tally for Cyber Monday marks the first time that the company has recorded a slowdown in spending on a major shopping day during the holiday season. 

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Last Cyber Monday wasn’t much different either, with consumers spending about $10.8 billion online. Last year was more predictable, however, as we were still in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, and most people weren’t leaving their house or in a position to spend a lot of money for the holidays. 

Adobe is still expecting that throughout the rest of this year’s holiday season, online retailer’s will see a relative increase in e-commerce activity. More shoppers have been opting to spread out their orders when it comes to holiday shopping to make it easier to pay off certain gifts. 

Between November 1st and Cyber Monday consumers in the US alone have spent about $109.8 billion online, which is an 11.9% increase from last year’s numbers, and the previous year’s. The company is anticipating digital sales to reach $207 billion by the end of the year, which would represent a record hain of 10%. 

Adobe reported that the Cyber Monday sales stats aren’t exactly surprising either. As previously mentioned, more shoppers have been spreading out the days in which they spend their money, as opposed to waiting for “Cyber Week” (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday) to get all their shopping done. 

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Many larger online retailers have seen these patterns, and have even gone as far as to offer Black Friday deals all autumn and winter. Adobe reported that retailers made about $8.9 billion in online sales this Black Friday, and about $5.1 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving Day. 

According to data from Sensormatic Solutions, another retail tracker, shopper traffic on Black Friday was up 47.5% when compared to last year’s numbers, however, it was still down 28.3% when compared to 2019/pre-pandemic levels. 

“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.

Adobe predicts that online retail trends will continue to fuel the market throughout the holiday season as deals on major retail websites like Amazon, Target, and Walmart continue to push “Black Friday Deals” throughout the entire holiday season.

Black Friday

Companies Begin Black Friday Deals Early As Supply Chain Concerns Persist

This holiday season, major companies are getting ahead of the shopping curve. Amazon revealed their “Black Friday-Worthy Deals” event and have already starting promoting holiday gift guides and items on their website, while Target unveiled its “Deal Days” event which ran from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12.

Meanwhile, Best Buy announced its Black Friday deals would start on Oct. 19 and end on Oct. 22, and that their “true” Black Friday sale would start a week prior, on Nov. 19. Best Buy is also implementing a price guarantee, meaning prices won’t go lower prior to Black Friday.

These moves are being done in response to the shift in consumers’ preferences when it comes to the timing of their shopping. Speaking to NBC Nightly News’ Stephanie Rhule, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry explained that they saw “not just a willingness” from their customers, but a “want to try to start early” when it comes to holiday shopping.

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In a survey conducted by RetailMeNot — that polled 1,082 U.S. adults — it was found that 24% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping pre-Thanksgiving, while 22% plan to start in October. Additionally, 66% said they’d prefer to get holiday shopping out of the way as soon as possible, while 33% said they’re starting shopping earlier than they did in 2020.

According to Barry, Best Buy is going into the holiday season with 50% more inventory, which is 20% more than two years ago. Barry also said to expect inflation on certain products, such as appliances – although she did stress other products’ prices remain “competitive.”

Meanwhile, RetailMeNote found that shoppers plan to spend 15% more than they did last year, and that the average consumer holiday spending in 2021 would be at $885.76, up $119 from 2020. As the Washington Times Herald notes, experts are projecting that Black Friday sales will break for $12 billion, and Cyber Monday could hit for around $11.8 billion.

Both those numbers would be record-breaking, and it continues a trend that is seeing consumers spending insanely big for holidays (Halloween is projected to see $10.14 billion spent, another record).

Aside from consumer desires, one of the biggest reasons companies are pushing up their Black Friday sales is due to the supply-chain problems that have arisen. The Los Angeles Times says that labor, logistics, and transportation costs are up, capacity has been reduced, there’s a shortage of truck drivers, and resources have been thinned – all culprits of the expected inflations and late deliveries.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play a nasty part. Trading between countries has become a bare at borders and ports due to travel restrictions. Don’t expect much positive change in the meantime, either – Moody’s Analytics warned that supply chain problems will “get worse before they get better.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that experts say it might take six months to a whole year before the backlogs are sorted out, far beyond the upcoming seasonal rush.

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For consumers, shopping now might be the smart decision, whether it’s preferable to them or not. Continued supply chain problems could lead to shortages in popular products in the weeks leading up to major holidays – a reason companies like Best Buy are stocking up their inventory now.

Target gave updates on how it plans to overcome supply chain challenges, stating large investments put into operations, adding more facilities, sortation, and distribution centers, and integrating further stocking technology. Additionally, Target announced that it was hiring 30,000 positions in supply chain operations.

However, Target is also trimming the amount of seasonal workers they hire. This year, they plan to hire 100,000 seasonal roles, which is about 30,000 less than last year. Instead, they’ll opt to give more hours to the workers they currently have.

Cyber Monday

Consumers Spent $9.4 Billion During Cyber Monday This Year

The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off with one of the most chaotic weekends for retail and online stores everywhere. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and finally Cyber Monday truly did set the tone for how intense holiday gift shopping is looking to be in the coming month. According to data curated by Adobe, Cyber Monday in particular broke e-commerce records, as shoppers in the United States spent about $9.4 billion online this year! 

According to the same data, Americans spent close to $1.5 billion more than they did last year; granted $3 billion of the money spent this year was on smartphones alone, another record broken for the smartphone industry. Technology has truly developed and thrived this year, so it makes sense that a hefty percentage of spending was on smartphones and other electronics that were on sale this Monday. 

During the peak times of online traffic, consumers were collectively spending $12 million every minute. After this weekend, US online shoppers have spent close to $82 billion since the beginning of November on their holiday shopping.  Representatives from Adobe said that the original forecast for Cyber Monday Sales didn’t exceed $8 billion, even with the massive amount of money consumers have already spent before this past weekend. 

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“That’s despite very aggressive pricing on the part of online sellers. “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. Consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in,” said John Copeland, head of Marketing and Consumer Insights at Adobe, in a statement.

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According to Tech Crunch Magazine, the top items sold this year on Cyber Monday included Frozen 2 merchandise, LOL Surprise Dolls, NERF products, Nintendo products, Star Wars merchandise, Samsung TV’s, Amazon Fire TV, Airpods, and air fryers. A diverse group of products for sure, but when we think about where each of these products fall demographic wise, it makes a lot of sense. Of course, smartphones also took a top spot, accounting for almost a third of the total money spent, sending overall smartphone sales for the year up 46%. 

Cyber Monday has been slowly taking the crown from Black Friday in terms of significant shopping days during this Thanksgiving weekend. More and more consumers are embracing the digital age and staying home instead of getting up early to go to the store and wait for hours in line to get a TV on sale that they could just buy for the same reduced price online that upcoming Monday. Additionally, this year the winter weather hit a lot of the US hard during Thanksgiving weekend, so customers were even less inclined to leave their homes, and more inclined to shop online. 

“Online shopping received some unexpected boosts this holiday season. Retailer fears of a shorter season meant that deals came much sooner than usual, and consumers took notice. In some areas of the country, adverse weather in the form of snow and heavy rain meant that many opted to stay home instead and grabbed the best deals online. Just look at Black Friday, which brought in $7.4 billion online and is just below last year’s Cyber Monday at $7.9 billion,” said Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights.

With online retail growing everyday, it makes perfect sense that Cyber Monday brought in so much money this year. Tech Crunch predicts that in total consumers will spend $14 billion more than they did this year on their online shopping alone. It’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

 

Cyber Monday

Top 5 Best Cyber Monday Deals for 2019

In recent years, Cyber Monday has eclipsed Black Friday as one of the best days of the year for deals on all manner of products. The number of items on sale across the Internet is surely in the thousands, and it can be difficult to find the best deals. As such, this article details some of the best deals on some of the most popular products this holiday season.

1) Apple Airpods

Wireless earbuds are all the rage as of late, and for iPhone users, there’s perhaps no better option than Apple’s own Airpods. Normally $159, they can be purchased for $144 today only from Walmart. While this is not the best deal on this list, Airpods are an extremely popular gift this holiday season, and the wireless earphones are, as of this writing, currently sold out on Amazon and other retailers. Apple products rarely go on sale, so if you’re planning on giving Airpods as a gift this year, it’s a good idea to buy them today before the deal ends or they’re sold out.

2) Apple iPad

An even better deal can be found for the newest versions of Apple’s iPad, which can be purchased for up to $100 off today. The new iPad can be bought at a discount from various retailers, including Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy today. On Target’s website, the 10.2 inch 32 GB iPad is $229.99, $100 less than its usual price. If you want to buy the tablet in other colors, however, you’ll have to spend $249.99, which is still a substantial discount. Apple’s latest version of its popular tablet is its best yet, and thanks to software updates and a wide range of accessories, the iPad is a powerful mobile computer which can be had for an excellent price.

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3) Xbox One X

Video game consoles are often a great holiday gift for children and teenagers, and the most recent gaming consoles are as affordable as they’ve ever been. The Xbox One X, Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s Switch, can be purchased at a $200 discount for $299 from B&H today only. The Xbox One X is an update to the Xbox One, and supports 4K and HDR output. As such, the console makes a great gift for fans of video games who want to enjoy some of the best graphics console gaming has to offer, as long as they have a TV compatible with the console’s advanced visual features.

4) Amazon Fire TV Stick

Another great entertainment option is Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, which plugs into the HDMI port on a TV and grants access to a wide variety of streaming video services, including Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and Amazon Prime Video. The Fire TV Stick is offered for $19.99, half of its usual price, on Amazon, Target, and Best Buy. The Fire TV Stick transforms any HDTV into a Smart TV, and its easy-to-use interface is ideal for accessing movies and TV shows. The device’s remote even offers a voice input feature through Alexa. For just under $20, the Fire TV Stick is a great option for streamlining one’s TV-watching experience.

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5) Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

While the Apple Watch is likely the best available smartwatch for iPhone users, people who have Android phones have a plethora of options for compatible devices. Probably the best smartwatch for Android users is the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which is currently $50 off on Amazon. Both the 40mm and 44 mm sizes are on sale today, and can be purchased for $229 and $249 respectively. Though it was released just months after Samsung’s other Active smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, this watch offers a number of improvements over its predecessor, including more accurate heart-rate sensors and a 2-day battery life. The watch works especially well with Samsung smartphones, making the watch an excellent gift for someone who has a Galaxy or Note phone.

As always, time is of the essence when shopping for deals on Cyber Monday, as the products listed here as well as countless others are likely to be sold out by the end of the day. It’s a good idea to take advantage of these deals while they last and complete your holiday shopping when you can save the most money.

Small Business Meeting

How To Prepare Your Business For “Small Business Saturday”

With Thanksgiving right around the corner shoppers are eagerly planning and waiting for one of the biggest retail holidays of the year. Once the turkey’s have been eaten and the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone, shoppers across the country get ready to wake up early and head to some of their favorite stores in an attempt to get a great Black Friday deal. Black Friday, however, is just the beginning of an extended weekend of shopping deals. Cyber Monday takes the title of second most recognized holiday shopping affair, however, one that is often overlooked is Small Business Saturday. A Saturday that’s meant to remind consumers everywhere that while they’re shopping at retail giants for the holidays this year, don’t forget about the hard-workers that make up local small businesses. Supporting your local small business is especially important during the holidays, while retail in general tends to boom during the holiday month, small businesses are often disregarded in terms of shopping, when superstores and online retail giants have taken over. 

Owning a small business is something that you should pride yourself greatly in. Running an entire establishment and keeping up with modern retail trends can definitely be difficult, but millions of Americans are out there doing it and succeeding. There’s many ways that these businesses can keep up a modern and fresh image, especially during this major shopping weekend, to really draw customers in. 

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Store design, graphics, and branding is obviously so important to catching the consumers attention. The holidays give small business owners another great opportunity to do a mini “re-branding” of their businesses aesthetic, and doing so will draw in the attention of holiday lovers everywhere. If you own a store front property, don’t be afraid to invest in some lights and other festive decorations to engulf the outside space of your business. While tedious, holiday decorations in general evoke a very “homey” and euphoric reaction in customers and will draw them in to see what kind of holiday specials you’re offering. The same goes for interior design, don’t be afraid to make your space festive with some little pre-lit Christmas trees, ribbon, twinkly lights, and glitter, glitter always helps. Even if you just have customers coming in to take photos of the amazing decorating work you’ve done, that’s free publicity right there, so don’t be afraid to do what you need to do in order to get the most foot traffic. 

Social media presence is a major requirement for owning a small business in this age. Your online presence is how you advertise, especially if your business is locally based. If you don’t have any sort of social media profiles for your business, definitely make a few! Especially for the holiday season and Small Business Saturday (SBS), you can turn to your platforms to inform your following of all the great SBS sales you have going on. Word spreads the quickest when it’s done through digital communication, so don’t hesitate to join the digital age, especially when it comes to your business. 

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In preparation for SBS, you also want to ensure that all lines of communication relating to your business are up and running. Telephone lines are cleared, internet access is set up, and you have staff ready to answer any customer questions in a quick and efficient matter. Relating to technology, you want to ensure any digital devices that you use to run your business are set up and in working order before the holiday weekend rush. If you know for a fact that you’re likely to get major foot traffic at one point or the other during the day, maybe invest in an additional “Square Terminal” that can simply be plugged into your phone (or employee’s phones) to take care of credit card transactions with customers, (assuming you’re in some sort of retail industry). Running a small business as smoothly as possible during a holiday retail weekend will stick with customers, and most likely lead to word spreading about all  the great deals your having. 

Finally, ensure that you and your team are ready and prepared for this holiday season. Employee’s tend to feel residual stress from the holiday’s in general that they bring into the workplace, and understandably so. The holidays in general can cause a whole slew of emotions and stresses to occur, be the leader they need you to be and ensure everyone that you’re a team and will work together the whole way through. Bringing in some holiday snacks might keep morale up as well. So whip out the cookie mix, Christmas lights, holiday ads, high-speed internet, and get ready for another successful year in the books of running a successful small business. And good luck this Saturday!