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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Recap: Online Stretches into a Week of Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Recap: Online Stretches into a Week of Sales

Another Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, leaving consumers’ wallets a little lighter and their holiday shopping lists a little shorter. With the growing popularity of surfing sales online, it’s hardly a surprise that Cyber Monday broke records this year as the biggest online shopping day in history. This trend toward e-commerce has elevated Black Friday and Cyber Monday to a whole new level — morphing the two days into a full cyber week of holiday deals in-stores and online. Let’s recap the busy shopping weekend to see what’s changed, what’s the same and what it all means for the supply chain:

The Facts

While Cyber Monday online sales reached new heights this year ($6.59 billion, according to Adobe Insights), for the first time, online sales on Black Friday were not far behind. According to Multichannel Merchant, online sales on Black Friday increased 16% from 2016 to a hefty $5.03 billion. While Black Friday was once dedicated to doorbuster sales, and Cyber Monday geared toward digital deals, the line there seems to be blurring. One thing’s for sure though: no matter which day the “checkout” button was pressed, many consumers were shopping when and where they wanted to, with 42% of Black Friday online orders placed from a phone and mobile sales raking in $2 billion on Cyber Monday.

One reason behind this cyber shift may be the earlier start of Black Friday. Football wasn’t the only distraction at the Thanksgiving table this year — according to personalization software firm Monetate, people began shopping even before their turkey hangover was over, with the average shopper spending $154.15 on Thanksgiving. Combine that with an average spend of $142.86 on Black Friday, and shoppers made a combined $7.9 billion in online purchases across the two days.

The Impact

With this shift, the question on many brands’ minds is where this trend toward digital-only shopping leaves their goods on brick-and-mortar shelves. While foot traffic was down 1% on Black Friday, don’t count physical stores out yet. Although traditional brands are shifting toward e-commerce by investing in improving their websites, tightening store inventories and increasing delivery options, many department stores are reporting record-breaking sales both in stores and online — particularly with the growing trend to order online and pick up in stores. In fact, offering consumers convenient delivery and fulfillment options has become a way for brands to differentiate themselves, with 85% of Black Friday orders shipped for free this year.

Brands need to prepare their supply chain strategy for this new, online-driven surge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday orders that often leaves warehouses understaffed and scrambling. Partnering with a supply chain service provider can help brands meet these massive demands by managing online orders end-to-end. Top tier supply chain experts remove the stress of forecasting staffing needs, fulfilling millions of order and handling returns, so customers can focus on driving sales and propelling their brand forward. A partner like ModusLink knows the ever-changing consumer and supply chain landscape, so they are ready each year to solve whatever complexities the holiday season throws at customers.

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