Shoppers spend a record $10.8 billion on Cyber Monday

Holiday shoppers went online Monday and spent $10.8 billion, setting a record for the largest U.S. online shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Cyber Monday spending rose 15.1% year over year, according to Adobe, which analyzes website transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. That came in short of Adobe’s original forecast of $12.7 billion. The firm had been revising the estimate downward in recent days.

Shoppers started their gift-buying earlier than ever, with retailers spreading out deals to avoid crowded stores during the pandemic. With the extended holiday shopping season, it is difficult to gauge what this one day says about the entire season.

For many retailers, the one-day online shopping event has a diminished role. Many big-box retailers like Walmart and Target started their deals in mid-October to coincide with Amazon Prime Day and plan to have more in the weeks ahead. And on Black Friday — a one-day event that’s typically centered around stores and malls — customers made many of their purchases on companies’ websites instead of in person.

“Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we expect to see record sales continue and curbside pickup to gain even more momentum as shoppers avoid crowds and potential shipping delays,” said Taylor Schreiner, a director at Adobe Digital Insights.

The shift to online shopping has also lessened the importance of some typical metrics that companies, analysts, and investors watch: Long lines and big crowds at stores on Black Friday.

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday also set records for online shopping, according to Adobe. Online spending rose nearly 22% year over year to $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving Day. On Black Friday, online spending jumped by about the same amount to a total of $9 billion.

As shoppers bought popular items like Hot Wheels, Lego sets, and AppleAirPods, Adobe found many made those purchases on their smartphones and a growing number retrieved their online purchases through curbside pickup.

Spending on smartphones represented 40% of total e-commerce spending on Black Friday and nearly half on Thanksgiving Day. In-store and curbside pickup of online purchases shot up by 52% on Black Friday year over year, as shoppers tried to avoid or limit time in stores during the pandemic.