Nov 30, 2021 - Economy

Spending on Cyber Monday falls 1.4%

Illustration of a hand cursor holding a present.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The verdict is in on Cyber Monday — the biggest online shopping day of the year — and consumers rendered a split decision. Spending for the day slid 1.4% versus 2020, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, as shoppers clicked less, but overall spending is up.

Why it matters: Supply chain disruption, pent-up pandemic demand and routines shaken up by remote work have all changed shopping habits. Industry observers say the way consumers shop now is another step in the transition to a new normal in retail.

The big picture: While Monday's tally was the first time online sales fell since Adobe began tracking the data in 2012, overall spend from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 is expected to hit $207 billion, which would represent record gains of 10%.

  • Spending climbed in the days before the Thanksgiving holiday amidst a drumbeat of coverage about supply chain snarls, spurring consumers to start shopping early.

By the numbers: Cyber Monday saw total sales of $10.7 billion this year, down from $10.8 billion in 2020.

  • During Cyber Week, which begins on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday, spending totaled $33.9 billion, which is also a decrease of 1.4%.
  • Yes, but: Shoppers have shelled out $109.8 billion since November 1, up 11.9% versus the same period a year prior.
  • This dovetails with reports that shoppers flocked to physical stores on Black Friday, even as digital commerce slipped.

Bottom line: Despite the decline, Cyber Monday is still a big deal and a primary barometer of consumer behavior during the holiday shopping season.

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