Formerly distinct holiday spending patterns are blurring, according to new data. The National Retail Federation reported Tuesday that Black Friday, traditionally known for swarms of consumers in stores, for the first time topped Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, for online shopping. And Adobe Inc.’s research unit reported that consumers spent $9.4 billion online on Monday, up nearly 20% from a year earlier.
All of this data points to considerably more e-commerce transactions for merchant acquirers to process, as well as more overall volume in what so far is a season of healthy transaction growth.
Based on a commissioned survey of 6,746 consumers conducted from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2, the Washington, D.C.-based NRF estimates 93.2 million consumers shopped online on Black Friday, Nov. 29, compared with 83.3 million on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2. Black Friday remained the busiest in-store shopping day, with an estimated 84.2 million shoppers hitting the malls and Main Street shops, followed by Nov. 30, dubbed Small Business Saturday, at 59.9 million.
“With online and in-store shopping increasingly intermingled, free shipping was the biggest reason for shoppers to make a purchase they were otherwise hesitant about, cited by 49%, up from 42% last year,” the NRF said in a news release. “And the ability to order online and pick up in-store was cited by 20%, up from 15% last year. Other top factors included limited-time sales or promotions (36%) and an easy-to-use Web site or app (21%).”
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. The NRF forecasts total spending for the holiday season, which it defines as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, will rise 4% year-over-year to land somewhere between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.
Meanwhile, Abode Analytics, which monitors visits to more than 4,500 online retailing sites, says the $9.4 in online revenue it tracked yesterday matched its forecast and is up by 19.7% from 2018’s Cyber Monday.