Cyber Monday Expected to Be Record Online Sales Day at $7.8 Billion

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Cyber Monday will be the largest day ever for online sales, based on new research. Total sales will reach $7.8 billion, up 18% from the same day last year.

Adobe Analytics, which provided the data, also made a comparison to 2018 Black Friday online sales, which were $6.8 billion. The Cyber Monday figure shows another challenge to brick-and-mortar retailers. Research firm ShopperTrak reported that visits to physical stores were down 1% for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. To put the $7.8 billion in perspective, Amazon’s total e-commerce sales in the third quarter of this year were $50 billion, so the benefit of online sales extends well beyond the results for the huge e-commerce company.

The news is great for Amazon.com and retail companies like Walmart that have huge online presences. eMarketer lists the largest online retailers after Amazon and Walmart as eBay, Apple, Home Depot, Best Buy, QVC Group, Macy’s, Costco and Wayfair. Obviously, for struggling retailers like Sears and J.C. Penney, it is another indication that their fortunes for the holiday pose a continuing threat to their ability to stay in business.

The record e-commerce number will be bolstered by the number of people who use smartphones to shop. Adobe reported that smartphone sales were about half of online sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

It is hard to say what factors will contribute to the Cyber Monday surge. Among the theories is that consumer confidence is at an 18-year peak. Another is the unemployment is at 3.9%, which is its best level in four decades. Yet another is that struggling retailers are offering deep discounts that are being matched by their larger rivals.

Whatever the theory, online sales have started to eclipse brick-and-mortar sales, and a record $7.8 billion Cyber Monday is more evidence the trend is accelerating.