Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday: Which One is Better?
The holiday season has arrived with chaos, mega-sale stampedes, product shortages, discounts, and excitement! Customers and ecommerce owners alike look forward to cyber week—the period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. Last year US retailers made $62 billion in online sales during those five days alone, accounting for 22% of the total holiday season revenue. The dates for 2022, 24th - 28th November, are just around the corner, and every seller can utilize the opportunity to maximize profits, clear old stock, and find new customers.
What can you, as a seller, do to make the most out of the upcoming cyber week? In this special post, I’ll share some jaw-dropping Black Friday and Cyber Monday revenue stats, describe holiday season consumer behavior patterns and share some strategies for success. But first, let’s take a quick look at the history behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday and what makes these holidays significant for the retail and ecommerce industry.
Hi! This post is brought to you by Sellzone, a blog designed by Semrush to help your ecommerce business grow. Semrush is the online visibility platform trusted by seven million users and 30% of Fortune 500 companies. Take advantage of Semrush's ecommerce tools by entering Semrush AppCenter.
Follow us on social media to read the latest strategies from the ecommerce community, and don't miss new opportunities to increase your profits:
What Is Black Friday?
The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has marked the beginning of the American Christmas shopping season since 1952. Historically, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving with parades that ended with an appearance by Santa. The idea that "Santa has arrived" meant families started Christmas shopping immediately after Thanksgiving. Retailers took advantage by offering exciting deals and discounts. They increased Black Friday mania by offering limited deals and opening stores at 6 a.m. Shoppers would line up outside retail stores and try to get the best deals before everyone else. With the advent of ecommerce, Black Friday sales extended online. In the past few years, retail websites often crashed due to the surge in online visitors!
What Is Cyber Monday?
The marketing term Cyber Monday was first introduced in 2005 to describe the Monday after Black Friday. At the time, the majority of people had slow Internet at home. After window shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, millions of Americans would use the high-speed internet connection at work to find better online deals for products they liked. The concept of Cyber Monday emerged to take advantage of this buyer behavior and give smaller ecommerce websites an opportunity to compete with larger retailers. Over time, retailers associated the term cyber with electronic gadgets and device sales, making the holiday increasingly popular.
How is Cyber Monday different from Black Friday? Although many retailers and brands are offering Black Friday deals online, Black Friday is still seen as a time to go to a physical store and deals while Cyber Monday is only online.
Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday Statistics
In the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have merged into a single retail event that boosts both in-store and online shopping. Let’s evaluate stats, trends, and consumer behavior to better understand the difference and what you can expect.
Black Friday Cyber Monday Revenue Statistics 2021
Cyber week shopping trends from 2021 highlight that a whopping 180 million people shopped in-store and online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon lead the chart with 17.7% of total Black Friday revenue. Shoppers spent $301.27 on average from a single online store. Holiday-related items, such as clothes, decorations, and presents, Cyber week shopping highlights from 2021made the bulk of the purchase ($215.40)
Overall, we observed sales in 2021 increased 14% from 2020, and Cyber Monday beat Black Friday spending by $1.8 billion.
Consumer Behavior Differences
People respond differently to different occasions. However, when it comes to the online shopping craze, we don’t see much difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
However, there are some important consumer behavior patterns that you must consider when developing your ecommerce strategy for the holiday season.
- 49% of shoppers took advantage of early holiday sales before Thanksgiving.
- People loved sellers that offered “click and collect” services. They could order online and collect the order in-store once ready. As a result, sellers that offered in-store or curbside pickup options generated 50% more revenue.
- Mobile emerged as the preferred platform to find and purchase products online. For example, 61% of product searches came from mobile devices.
- While only 42% of consumers planned for the weekend, 62% made impulsive buying decisions on Black Friday.
Overall, Black Friday is more popular for brick-and-mortar businesses. As a result, retailers received more foot traffic from nearly 105 million shoppers in 2021. On the other hand, Cyber Monday saw 77 million people make online purchases in the US alone!
Bluecore found that consumers preferred to shop from new brands, and most shoppers were first-time buyers across categories. They also discovered that consumer electronics experienced an unprecedented rise in site traffic on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday. However, Home Goods, Jewelry, Sporting Goods, and Speciality Gift items were equally popular. Apparel (clothing) saw the highest site traffic increase—a whopping 129%—compared to a regular day. Footwear saw a 6% increase in the number of orders and an 8% increase in average spend per order (average order value). Other categories also saw a 9% increase in average order values compared to 2020.
Predictions for Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday 2022
Many sellers ask the question: are online sales better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? The statistics indicate that today both days represent a single mega-shopping event where online retailers and in-store sellers get plenty of opportunities to generate revenue. Data from Loyalty Lion makes some exciting predictions about cyber week 2022. For example, 67% of consumers eagerly await the 2022 event due to the increased cost of living. So you can expect more purchases on your discounted products and deals. 68% of consumers also hold out and wait for the holiday to make certain purchases. So you can expect cashed-up customers with ready savings to snap up your products in November.
How Can Online Sellers Prepare for Cyber Monday and Black Friday?
You still have a month to develop and optimize your ecommerce strategy for cyber week 2022.
Here are some quick suggestions to turn the event into a remarkable growth opportunity.
1. Be Aware of Consumer Trends
Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday statistics from 2021 highlight trends that all ecommerce sellers need to be aware of.
If we look at trends, NRF found that consumers had already completed 28% of their shopping by early November 2021. So, your marketing efforts to generate maximum revenue should start well before Black Friday. You can begin promotional campaigns in early November to create a buzz around your brand.
"With the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale this year, we expect even more shoppers to complete their shopping early. So you want to make sure you are getting your listings and advertising campaigns dialed in asap." (
Quantum Metric found out that the total number of retail customers who abandoned carts before checkout doubled in 2021 compared to 2020. The tendency of several customers to shop before cyber week and extended Cyber Monday offers reduces customer urgency to make a purchase. As a result, they end up abandoning filled carts on retailer sites. To perform well this season, try to push customers to complete their purchases sooner. Meanwhile, have a marketing strategy for both planned and impulse buys.
Another critical consumer trend was a significant increase in people shopping from mobile devices. So, make sure to offer your audience an exceptional mobile shopping experience this year.
2. Plan your marketing campaigns in advance
Plan your marketing images, content, and ad campaigns as early as possible to make the most of this year's shopping events—Fine-tune your lead generation strategy in the coming weeks leading up to the mega event. Use social media and reward programs to boost your email sign-ups. Need a quick tip? Deploy an email pop-up on your website highlighting your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and asking those who visit it to opt-in. Consider rolling out a sign-up offer to drive popup engagement.
3. Create an email marketing strategy
A solid email marketing campaign can boost sales during cyber week. Initially, send preliminary emails introducing your brand and connecting with your audience. Then you can send emails with exclusive offers and limited-time deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember to:
- Write attention-grabbing titles to stand out from the crowd
- Use humor in your email content
- Create a sense of urgency using timers and counters
- Use existing holiday season templates in your email marketing software
4. Create Profitable Offers, Deals & Discounts
Customers expect discounts, but that doesn't mean you should sell items at a loss! You can be selective about your offers. Some ideas for profitable holiday deals include:
- Bundle a low price item with an expensive one
- Giveaway product samples instead of the total product
- Discounts only for bulk orders or purchases above a minimum value
- Discounts only for first-time purchases
- Discounts only for loyal customers
- Free shipping instead of reduced prices.
- Content upgrades like a recipe e-book, DIY guide, and so on.
Regardless of what strategy you choose to go with, get the word out at the right time.
Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday Amazon Seller Tips
You might wonder if you sell on Amazon—is Black Friday or Cyber Monday better for Amazon sellers? Third-party sellers on the retail giant’s platform can also profit on both days. Moreover, both days perform equally well as shoppers make purchases throughout the cyber week. We give special tips for Amazon sellers below.
Increase Your Visibility on Amazon
Because of the competition, you simply can’t overlook your visibility on the world's biggest ecommerce platform. Here are some quick suggestions:
- Use sponsored ads to promote your products.
- Use the right keywords to optimize your product titles and listings.
- Focus on your customer reviews - products with positive reviews should show on top.
- Register for FBA to become a prime seller.
- Be sure to have sufficient stock before the holiday season kicks off.
Pro Tip: To properly optimize your product listings, use intelligent tools like Keyword Wizard for Amazon that help you find the perfect search terms for your business.
Improve Your Product Reviews
Building an impressive online reputation takes time. But it is never too late. Here are some tips for you to rack up great reviews for your business:
- Reach out to older customers with personalized emails requesting a review
- Offer exclusive holiday deals as an incentive to leave reviews
- Reach out to influencers for video testimonials that they can upload
- Respond politely or delete negative reviews
- Create your response to delayed orders in advance.
You can read our guide on how to get more product reviews on Amazon for more ideas!
Win The Buy Box
83% of Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box. Brand registry sellers have exclusive access to their products in the buy box. But if you are reselling common products and competing with several retailers for the same item, you want to win the box.
For everyday products with multiple vendors, Amazon picks one top reseller for all customers to buy from, showcases a few others, and ignores the rest. Highly competitive algorithms assess the vendors' past performance before selecting the best one. The company may also rotate the Buy Box between a few different sellers and give the spot to a new merchant weekly.
If you are reselling, you want to win that buy box and watch your sales grow exponentially. Check out our guide on detailed strategies on how to win the buy box. If you have already won the Buy Box, you can use a tool like Listing alerts for Amazon to notify you of changes in Buy Box status.
Your customers are ready to check their holiday items off their lists. Are you ready to surprise them with your awesome deals and discounts? Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday data, insights, and predictions to develop the perfect marketing strategy for cyber week 2022. Build a strong foundation of customer service, on-time delivery, and product quality in the coming months. Start marketing campaigns in advance, engage with your audience, and create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.
Amazon sellers can run PPC campaigns and showcase video testimonials to stand out from the competition. Give prospective shoppers reasons to stop by and purchase your products before, during, and even after the holiday season!
You've read to the end, you rock! Follow us on social media, and don’t miss new opportunities to increase your profits:
Now that you have understood the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may be wondering how to best prepare for the holiday season. Read our Complete Holiday Season Seller Guide and watch your profits climb!