The Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers are in, and if these early indications of the Christmas shopping season are any indication, it's going to be a banner year for retailers, some of whom rely on the Christmas season for up to half of their annual bottom line.
As Adobe Analytics reports, Cyber Monday 2018 was not only the biggest Cyber Monday in history, it was the biggest single-day retail shopping day in U.S. history. Approximately $7.9 billion changed hands on that day, shattering the previous year's marks by 19.7 percent.
John Copeland, head of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe, says that part of the increase - $2 billion worth - comes from shoppers using mobile apps on their smartphones or tablets to purchase Christmas gifts rather than the old-fashioned method of online shopping: browsing on your laptop or desktop computer.
Even so, the day could have been even bigger if not for technical glitches, according to retail industry trade publication Multibriefs. Several users on high-profile sites such as Amazon were hit with "out-of-stock" messages. Other websites, such as those of Lowes, Target, and PayPal, all went down for periods of time on Cyber Monday.
That's not good, says retail analyst Rob Strechay.
"Every minute of downtime can equate to tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue on a normal day. We all know this is much higher during the holiday shopping season."
As for shoppers who prefer to do their shopping in person at brick-and-mortar stores, Black Friday 2018 was something of a mixed bag.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, some Southern cities, such as Tallahassee and Raleigh, reported all-but-nonexistent Black Friday crowds at some locations. Where the day had once been a free-for-all, in some places descending into riots, in a couple of cities the day was no different than any other Friday.
So is the madness that is Black Friday becoming a thing of the past?
The numbers both do and don't bear that out. Black Friday sales across the country were off from the previous year, but only by 2 percent.
Meanwhile, Black Friday and Cyber Monday's numbers also reveal the popularity of a new trend in the retail industry, one that combines the best of both worlds. BOPIS, as it's called in the industry - Buy Online, Pickup In Store - allows customers the convenience of shopping online while simultaneously saves them shipping charges and allows them to skip (mostly) the crowds. Roughly 50 percent more shoppers utilized this option than in 2017, and retailers that offer BOPIS saw 28 percent more use of the feature than in 2017.
Retailers are optimistic that these trends point to a huge Christmas shopping season this year.