By Daysi Calavia-Robertson Newsday
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Based on Adobe Analytics data, a record $6.22 billion was spent online by the end of Black Friday, an increase of 23.6 percent over 2017's $5.03 billion. Those figures are just the beginning of what may be an online shopping bonanza this week.
Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, generating a whopping $7.8 billion in sales.
That's 17.6 percent higher than last year, according to the projection from Adobe Analytics, a unit of San Jose-based software company Adobe Inc.
But the National Retail Federation projects that the number of shoppers taking advantage of online bargains on Cyber Monday -- about 75 million -- will be 3 million fewer than in 2017.
Just as Black Friday has evolved into "Black November," as retailers spread out their discounts, Cyber Monday has turned into "Cyber Week," said retail expert Marshal Cohen, a chief industry adviser for the NPD Group, a market research firm in Port Washington. "And this will alter some of its strength as a stand-alone day," he said.
The NRF, a Washington, D.C., based trade group, estimated more than 164 million people planned to shop over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. But experts said Black Friday remains the busiest shopping day, with NRF projecting 116 million would shop, both in-store and online, on that day alone.
Based on Adobe Analytics data, a record $6.22 billion was spent online by the end of Black Friday, an increase of 23.6 percent over 2017's $5.03 billion.
"Most people are off from work and ready to shop," said Ana Serafin Smith, a spokeswoman for the NRF. "Black Friday continues to garner more attention from consumers than any of the other days."
However, Serafin Smith said she wouldn't be surprised if the number of shoppers on Monday exceeded the NRF projection. "There are some really strong deals being advertised by retailers right now," she said. "Some promotions are even better than they were last year, which may lead to even more people deciding to shop."
Data from Adobe suggests that consumers are getting more comfortable buying more and bigger ticket items online. The average order value of $146 set a new record for Black Friday, up 8.5 percent over last year.
Serafin Smith said many brick and mortar retailers are trying to capitalize on Cyber Monday by offering "buy online, pick-up in store" deals.
"Of those [shoppers] that choose to buy items online and pick them up at the store, nearly 70 percent will double their basket size by the time they walk out of the store," she said. "So, even on Cyber Monday, retailers will try to use this as an opportunity to bring consumers into their physical stores and cash in on impulse buys."
And while that may not be the case for Casey Powers, owner of Ecocentric Mom, an organic and eco-friendly products subscription box business that operates online only, the East Hampton entrepreneur said Cyber Monday is one of the busiest days of the year for her company.
"It's still not as big a day for us as Black Friday is," she said. "But it's very close. I usually see an increase in sales of about five times as much as on a regular day."
This year Ecocentricmom.com will celebrate Cyber Monday by running a sitewide 10 percent off deal toward any subscription or single gift box and sending a "special gift" to customers who place orders that day.
"It's a big deal for me," Powers said. "Gifts are the majority of my business and this is the best time of year for gifts." C.