Cyber Weekend: It’s Mostly Amazon and ‘Offline’ Retailers

There have been dozens of articles and reports on last weekend’s retail spending and e-commerce. US consumers shopped heavily on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday saw more than $5 billion in e-commerce and Cyber Monday racked up more than $6.5 billion in sales as the largest online shopping day ever.

Mobile sales were roughly $2 billion on Cyber Monday according to Salesforce, Adobe and others. And traffic on mobile devices (in some cases purchases per Shopify) exceeded the desktop. It’s an omni-channel Xmas.

Sales in physical stores also saw growth, though not as much as online. But the “zero-sum” narrative of e-commerce vs. “brick and mortar” misses an important point and larger story: most of the e-commerce leaders are traditional retailers. Stores support online shopping and vice-versa.

Amobee Black Friday Data

Data from Amobee (above), which is based on online content engagement (though not actual sales) found that the retailers with the greatest online engagement over the long weekend were mostly traditional retail brands. The list for Cyber Monday is similar though not identical.

Amazon, which claimed roughly 50% of all Black Friday online sales (per GBH Insights), is joined by eBay and NewEgg as the three online-only retailers on the list. The others have physical stores.

As I’ve argued in the past, familiar brands and physical stores give consumers the confidence to buy online — knowing that they can return items locally. Stores support online sales; when stores disappear e-commerce declines as well.

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