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Cyber Monday was biggest online shopping day in U.S. history

How the pandemic impacted Black Friday s
How coronavirus pandemic impacted Black Friday spending 06:29

Consumers pounced on discounts and deals this Cyber Monday, making it the single largest day for online sales in U.S. history. 

Shoppers spent a record $10.8 billion Monday, marking an all-time high for ecommerce spending and beating last year's $9.4 billion record, according to Adobe Analytics. 

Fully one-quarter of the day's sales — $2.7 billion — were made during the so-called "golden hours of retail," between 7  p.m.and 11 p.m. Pacific Time. Consumers spent a whopping $12 million per minute on toys, electronics, clothing, appliances and more during the  8 p.m. to 9 p.m. peak hour of shopping mania, according to Adobe. 

Monday's total spend represented a 15% year-over-year increase in sales. 

"Cyber Monday continued to dominate the holiday shopping season, becoming the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, despite early discounts from retailers. Throughout the remainder of the holiday season, we expect to see record sales continue and curbside pickup to gain even more momentum as shoppers avoid crowds and potential shipping delays," Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement Tuesday.

Records shattered

Black Friday sales were strong too, with consumers spending $9 billion online the day after Thanksgiving, up nearly 22% from last year's shopping extravaganza and marking the third-biggest day for ecommerce sales in U.S. history after Cyber Monday this year and in 2019.

Concerns over COVID-19, along with customer capacity limits at retailers, thinned crowds at stores and malls this year. But shoppers were still drawn to deals on Hot Wheels cars, which were among the top-selling items on Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics

The Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Animal Crossing video games for the Nintendo Switch system were also in demand, as were Apple's AirPods ear buds and the Apple Watch. The smartwatch category saw a big surge in sales, soaring more than 600% over the daily average in October. 

Adobe identified the spending trends by analyzing data generated by roughly 1 trillion visits to retail sites, as well as looking at 80 of the 100 largest retailers in the U.S. 

No place like home

Self-balancing electric scooters, also known as hoverboards, Lego sets, Amazon Echo products and Samsung TVs were also in high demand on Black Friday.

"Generally, the popular items this year trended toward home automation and other kinds of products that serve that stay-at-home consumer and make their lives easier as they spend more time at home," Adobe Analytics vice president Keith Eadie said. 

"Video games are always popular. The gaming industry is having its best year ever," Eadie added.

Small Business Saturday, which had particular importance this year amid the pandemic's impact on independent stores, also seemed to resonate with consumers. Companies with $10 million to $50 million in annual revenue saw a nearly 300% increase in sales compared to a normal day, according to Adobe.

Small businesses struggle despite record breaking Black Friday sales 01:52

Kym Rodgers, owner of Brooklyn Sweet Spot, a Brooklyn, New York, bakery, said she doesn't usually get much business on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, noting that many consumers are still dealing with leftovers. But this year, her sales for the day were up roughly 33% compared with a year ago.

"We definitely saw a boost in sales, and I think that's because people are more intentional this year about supporting small businesses because of the political climate. They're being more deliberate about shopping small and shopping Black," Rodgers told CBS MoneyWatch. "I benefited because I am both, so I think that's part of why there was such an increase from last year."

Jacquelyn Rodgers, owner of Greentop Gifts, a small business that helps bring diversity to family and workplace celebrations through home decor and apparel, tripled her sales Saturday compared to the same day in 2019. Her top seller: gift wrap featuring a Black angel.

"Representation is important, and we definitely saw an uptick in orders this Small Business Saturday," Rodgers told CBS MoneyWatch.

Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday consumers have an opportunity to give back by supporting charitable organizations that are in need of donations. The push to support charities has hardly slowed consumption, though. As deals linger, early data from Adobe suggests that the day's total online spend could surpass $4 billion, representing 26% year-over-year growth. 

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