Each year, I make my predictions for Gray November, a month-long season of discounts, and the rest of the holiday season — but this year I didn’t.
As Dr. Seuss might say, now, please don’t ask me why. I don’t quite know the reason. It could be that my predictions wouldn’t be quite right. But I think the most likely reason of all is that too many mobile emails were optimized two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason, the season, or the screen, let’s take a look at how online shoppers kicked off this holiday season. How did Gray November play out from a consumer spending standpoint? On which devices did consumers shop? Let’s take a look at a few key highlights:
Online sales from Nov. 1-Dec. 6 were $80.3 billion according to Adobe Analytics, up 16% from 2017. For the second consecutive year, every single day in November drove over $1 billion in online sales; this is the new daily benchmark for the month. The upcoming benchmark will be $2 billion sales days; 14 of the first 36 days of the holiday season hit this new benchmark.
And for the big three:
- Thanksgiving Day: $3.7 billion in online sales, up 28%.
- Black Friday: $6.2 billion in online sales, up 24%
- Cyber Monday: $7.9 billion in online sales, up 17%
Looking at these individual days, we see larger YoY growth on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day than Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving has been evolving into a major shopping day over the past several years, and retailers should expect this to continue.
This should come as no surprise, as sales were noticeably ramped up beginning the Monday of Thanksgiving week, following a trend seen the last several years.
Shopping by Devices
We have seen mobile continue to increase its share of web traffic and online sales over desktop. This year we saw a similar yet evolving story from consumers.
Traffic: Mobile once again ruled traffic to websites, taking 57% of it. Of this, 49% was from smartphones. While not apples to apples, if we…