5 Data Differences Between Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Changes to Thanksgiving weekend retail sales are imminent.

On one hand, consumers are savvy to start looking online for deals before the turkey is even in the oven. On the other, merchants are wise to space their promotions to avoid website downtime or shipping issues.

The question remains whether Black Friday and Cyber Monday are really just part of an extended shopping weekend or if they are still unique entities that retailers have to plan for separately. Let's check out data from top sources to glean insights from the extended shopping weekend.

1. Going Back to Work on Monday, Still Means More Desktop Sales 
Salesforce reports this year on Black Friday, phones accounted for 60 percent of traffic to retail sites, up from 53 percent. Those numbers were lower on Cyber Monday with shoppers placing only 37 percent of orders and making 56 percent of visits from phones, outpacing last year's values of 29 percent and 48 percent, respectively reports Salesforce.

2. Average Order Value is Lower on Monday
Salesforce data indicates average order value (AOV) is smaller on Monday than Friday by roughly $10; the order volume however tends to be higher on Cyber Monday (see #5).

3. Black Friday is the Best Day to Buy
Based on low prices and product availability, Adobe reports Black Friday is the best day to buy appliances (save 18 percent), jewelry (save 12 percent), tablets (save 24 percent) and televisions (save 24 percent) with Cyber Monday being the best day to buy toys (save 19 percent). 

4. Smaller Retailers Dominating Mobile
For Cyber Monday and the holiday weekend overall, Adobe reports large retailers (over $100 million in annual revenue) saw higher AOVs and desktop conversion rates. Small retailers (under $10 million in annual revenue) saw 30 percent higher conversion rates on smartphones than large retailers.

5. Cyber Monday Passes Black Friday in Online Sales
According to Adobe, there was record Thanksgiving week online sales with November 23 through 26 totaling $13.03 billion, a 14.4 percent increase year over year (YoY). Thanksgiving Day spend totaled $2.87 billion (18.3 percent growth YoY) while Black Friday hit $5.03 billion (up 16.9 percent YoY). Cyber Monday surpassed $6.59 billion in total sales (a 16.8 percent YoY growth). 

Further, online spend surpassed at least $1 billion every day in the lead up to Thanksgiving. For the rest of the season, Adobe indicates 13 days are projected to exceed $2 billion in online sales bringing the total to 18 $2 billion days this holiday season, over double the number from last year.