As consumers increasingly turned to online shopping this holiday season, ongoing research from Comscore (Nasdaq: SCOR), a trusted partner for planning, transacting, and evaluating media across platforms, found that online spending across Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday (the ‘Big 3’ holiday shopping days), reached record levels in 2020. Total online consumer spending exceeded $22 billion, an increase of 25% compared to 2019.
Of the ‘Big 3’ shopping days, Cyber Monday saw the highest spending. In 2020, consumers spent $9.81 billion, an increase of 24% compared to 2019. Thanksgiving and Black Friday’s spend reached $4.94 billion and $7.34 billion, respectively.
While Cyber Monday was the clear winner in total dollars spent by day, both Black Friday and Thanksgiving grew at faster rates year-over-year, indicating some spending may have shifted earlier in the season. Thanksgiving spend grew the most, up 28% from 2019, with Black Friday following close behind with a 26% year-over-year increase. Cyber Monday’s growth was down slightly from the 31% year-over-year increase from 2018 to 2019.
This early spending surge, which could partially be due to retailers kicking off promotions earlier this year, signals that retailers have the power to shift consumer spending. Normally in July but delayed until mid-October, Amazon Prime Day seemed to kick off 2020’s holiday shopping season two weeks earlier than the usual November 1 start.
Taking a closer look at retail on mobile devices, Comscore found a significant year-over-year increase in mobile spending this holiday season. While mobile spending has played a pivotal role in these key holiday shopping days over the last several years, mobile’s 2020 share of digital spending on Thanksgiving and Black Friday surged. 45% of Thanksgiving digital spending was mobile, up from 40% in 2019. Similarly, the 2020s Black Friday mobile spend share jumped to 42%, increasing from 2019’s 37%. As more retailers pushed out deals throughout the entire week, it seems many consumers jumped on those promotions via their mobile device and drove a significant number of sales.