US Cyber Monday sales hit record $12.4 billion on big discounts – report

(Reuters) -Deep discounts on everything from beauty products and toys to electronics have enticed U.S. shoppers to splurge on Christmas purchases and ring in a record $12.4 billion in Cyber Monday sales online, data from Adobe Analytics showed on Tuesday.

Online consumer spending jumped 9.6% on Monday from the $11.3 billion seen last year, outstripping Adobe’s initial expectations for a 6.1% rise to $12 billion.

The lead-up to the crucial shopping season was marked by retailers like Walmart and Macy’s warning of cautious consumer spending as sticky inflation constrained budgets. Key industry forecasts, including Deloitte’s, had also pointed to a lackluster holiday season.

But blockbuster deals rolled out from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday are helping spread the holiday cheer.

Shoppers are leaning on flexible features like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, which help consumers avoid the extra fees and interest that come with credit card payments, to stretch their Christmas budgets.

A record $940 million worth of purchases were made through BNPL on Cyber Monday, surging 42.5% from last year and trouncing Adobe’s earlier estimate for an 18.8% jump.

In what is typically the biggest online shopping day in the U.S., Cyber Monday discounts peaked at 31% in the electronics category and at 23% for apparel, Adobe said. Hot Wheels toys, PlayStation 5 and smart watches were among the most sought-after.

“The 2023 holiday shopping season began with a lot of uncertainty … The record online spending across Cyber Week, however, shows the impact that discounts can have on consumer demand, especially with quality products that drove a lot of impulse shopping,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights.

The Cyber Week – or the five days from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday – pulled in $38 billion in internet sales, surpassing Adobe’s forecast of $37.2 billion.

In the UK, shoppers spent 3.45 billion pounds ($4.35 billion) online between Black Friday through Monday.

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia and Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai and Devika Syamnath)