Cyber 5: Results, Insights, and Trends

Robots interacting with presents and a shopping cart

Cyber 5 weekend – the days from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday – by the numbers to analyze the e-commerce trends and online shopping behaviors. Based on our analysis, we forecast how this data will impact the remainder of the holiday season. While there is a lot of data to unpack regarding this year’s Cyber 5 results, NetElixir found e-commerce sales in the U.S. grew by over 12% YoY. 

The month of November continued to see steady growth, with e-commerce sales increasing 9% YoY compared to November 2021, following the 6% increase from October.

We forecasted stronger e-commerce growth this year, as 2022 marks the first true post-pandemic holiday season and people are striving for a return to normalcy. People are celebrating the season with dinners, gifts, and events, leading to an increase in e-commerce sales to furnish the festivities.

Overall, Cyber 5 2022 was stronger than expected”, says Udayan Bose, our Founder and CEO. “Cyber 5 shifted the e-commerce landscape, as some advertisers pulled back on their spend. This allowed others to gain a greater share of voice and engage new customers for a record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday, validating the notion that you shouldn’t cut back on marketing during a slowdown.”

15th Annual Cyber 5 Report

For our 15th annual Cyber 5 report, NetElixir’s Retail Intelligence Lab captured the hourly data across each day from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday and compared sales volume, average order value (AOV), conversions, and more to last year’s data. We captured data separately across 6 retail categories to see how, when, and where customers were searching and shopping. All told, we analyzed over 70 million sessions across this five-day period. (This granular data is made possible through our AI-driven digital marketing platform, LXRInsights, which helps us find and engage high-value customers.)

The central region of America had the highest YoY growth at 15%, as depicted in the map below:

Map of the United States of America that depicts regional Cyber 5 growth

How E-Commerce Sales Grew During Cyber 5 2022

This year, Black Friday had the highest AOV out of the five days. However, Cyber Monday orders contributed slightly more to the overall Cyber 5 orders and revenue. Beauty and Apparel retail categories had the highest YoY revenue growth, at 22% and 16% respectively. 

Overall dayparting was a crucial aspect of this year’s Cyber 5; advertisers were more prudent in where and when they allocated spend to attract and convert customers. Nearly 37% of customers shopped between noon and 6 PM.

Mobile sales accounted for 58% of sitewide orders during Cyber 5. Mobile’s AOV was 25% lower than desktop’s AOV. Most mobile orders came on Thanksgiving Day and the least on Cyber Monday. People were probably trying to place quick, discreet orders while celebrating Thanksgiving dinner, thus relying more on their mobile devices. Mobile also accounted for the majority of clicks across retail categories within our dataset, meaning that people were more likely to research gift ideas and brands’ offers on their phone.

Channel-Specific Cyber 5 Trends

Amazon Trends

Advertisers who offered a holiday-specific deal during Cyber 5 earned a significant boost in performance across all e-commerce metrics, from conversions to sales, compared to brands who did not offer a promotion. AOV increased even with deals, as it prompted shoppers to also buy higher-priced products and order more units per order. The budget-conscious trend we have noticed throughout the year, amid lingering uncertainty and inflation increases, continued throughout the holiday season, as customers aim to secure the best deal available.

Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale event in mid-October kick-started the holiday shopping spree. We expect that over 35% of Prime customers may have completed their holiday shopping prior to Cyber 5.

Google Advertising Trends

Performance Max campaigns accounted for 48% of paid search orders during Cyber 5. This is a phenomenal stat considering that Performance Max campaigns didn’t exist just ten months ago! Next holiday season, Performance Max could account for nearly all of paid search orders. If there is any hesitancy about using Performance Max campaigns, let this year’s Cyber 5 results remove all doubt; this AI-driven campaign module is here to stay as the default campaign type as Google continues to improve its efficiency. 

We also observed less advertising competition this year compared to last year. Amid the uncertainty or considering the pull of in-store shopping, some advertisers pulled back on their digital spend. This created a tremendous opportunity for brands to gain a greater share of voice and engage new customers during this critical period. 

This year showed a great opportunity to seize significant wins in categories like apparel and gifting since there were fewer advertisers. Incremental investment to win impression share surprisingly fell during Cyber 5 for both categories.

How Cyber 5 Impacts The Rest of The Holiday Season

While a 9% YoY increase in November’s online sales is great news for holiday retailers, the growth is likely to be slower in December as retailers relax their discounts and consumer demand drops. Most retailers offered heavy discounts throughout the month of November to ramp up holiday demand. The benefit of discounts cannot be understated during critical holiday periods to attract and convert customers. 

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) sales saw explosive increase during November. BNPL is incentivizing incremental consumer spending (and, often, spending beyond your means), so should be used strategically to engage customers.

From this data, NetElixir is maintaining our original 2022 holiday retail sales growth prediction of 7% YoY growth. 

Brands should use the success of Cyber 5 to leverage continued engagement and consider their post-holiday strategy. This is an important time to collect and use first-party data to better understand your customers and their expectations for the new year.

Watch our full analysis now:

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