NEW YORK -- Days after flocking to stores on Black Friday, consumers are turning online for Cyber Monday to score more discounts on gifts and other items that have ballooned in price because of high inflation.
Cyber Monday is expected to remain the year's biggest online shopping day and rake in up to $11.6 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions at over 85 of the top 100 U.S. online stores. That forecast represents a jump from the $10.7 billion consumers spent last year.
Adobe's numbers are not adjusted for inflation, but the company says demand is growing even when inflation is factored in. Some analysts have said top line numbers will be boosted by higher prices and the amount of items consumers purchase could remain unchanged -- or even fall -- compared to prior years. Profit margins are also expected to be tight for retailers offering deeper discounts to attract budget-conscious consumers and clear out their bloated inventories.
Shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion online on Black Friday, up 2.3% from last year, according to Adobe. E-commerce activity continued to be strong over the weekend, with $9.55 billion in online sales.
Salesforce, which also tracks spending, said their estimates showed online sales in the U.S. hit $15 billion on Friday and $17.2 billion over the weekend, with an average discount rate of 30% on products. Electronics, active wear, toys and health and beauty items were among those that provided a big boost, the two groups said.
Meanwhile, consumers who feared leaving their homes and embraced e-commerce during the pandemic are heading back to physical stores in greater numbers this year as normalcy returns. The National Retail Federation said its recent survey showed a 3% uptick in the number of Black Friday shoppers planning to go to stores. It expects 63.9 million consumers to shop online during Cyber Monday, compared to 77 million last year. Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending across all types of payments including cash and credit card, said that overall sales on Black Friday rose 12% from the year-ago.