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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Have Morphed Into a Weeks-Long Super Holiday

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush has exploded, giving way to a week’s worth of sales that sustain seasonal retail.

Now, instead of waiting for Black Friday doorbuster deals, consumers are getting started on their shopping much earlier—and continuing well beyond Cyber Monday the following week.

That’s because retailers have learned that prolonging the period of consumer interest is more valuable than throwing resources into two shopping days alone—however momentous they may be.

In a study released Wednesday, data management and analytics firm 1010Data asserted that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are becoming a “multi-week shopping phenomenon” as sales extend in both directions.

“With Black Friday only three days before Cyber Monday, it can be difficult—now almost impossible—to draw a meaningful line between these two shopping holidays,” analysts asserted. As the worldwide consumer base becomes more digitally native, the differences that used to distinguish them are becoming sparser.

While Cyber Monday was originally created for online shopping, consumers have migrated to e-commerce for their daily needs—meaning that Black Friday shopping, too, has gone digital.

In 2015, analysts reported, the top Cyber Monday purchases were overwhelmingly electronic or technology related—like iPad Minis, Amazon Echos and Fire Tablets. In 2018, however, other lifestyle purchases shot up on shoppers’ lists, though gadgets and technology remained dominant. Sales for clothing grew more than 20 percent on Cyber Monday between 2015 and 2018.

With the two shopping holidays now so closely aligned in theme, retailers are seeking to extend the life of Thanksgiving week sales buzz. 1010Data analysts reported that e-commerce giants such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon have started to announce Black Friday deals a week before Thanksgiving—and sales last for an entire week following the holiday.

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While both shopping days remain deeply popular with consumers, data from cross-border commerce company eShopWorld revealed that global e-commerce sales for Cyber Monday grew twice as fast as on Black Friday in major markets.

Working with data science firm Gradient Metrics, analysts found that Cyber Monday sales grew roughly 21 percent year over year, while Black Friday sales increased by a mere 8 percent over last year.

“Black Friday’s dominance over the holiday shopping season weakened this year as Cyber Monday and the weeks in the lead up to the holiday picked up share of sales in both volume and value,” Tommy Kelly, founder and CEO of eShopWorld, said.

“While we saw cross-border e-commerce sales break a number of records over the long Thanksgiving weekend, the shopping holiday is now starting earlier and lasting for more days,” he added.

Consumers are also spending more on their orders, the study showed. Even though the number of orders on Black Friday saw a rise of an estimated 2 percent since 2018, the average value of those orders increased by more than 8 percent. Cyber Monday showed even stronger growth, with order numbers increasing about 11 percent year over year, and a 21.5 percent increase in order value.

While e-commerce enjoyed a significant boon over both shopping holidays, mall foot traffic was up 91 percent above average weekend traffic across the country, according to advertising platform Mobiquity Technologies.

Target was among the highest-performing brick-and-mortar retailers on Black Friday, displaying an 84 percent lift over average Saturday foot traffic on the holiday—and a 155 percent increase over a normal Friday.

Walmart also saw a higher volume of shoppers visiting its many stores across the country, though it amounted to a modest 42 percent boost on Black Friday.

Notably, women’s lingerie was the standout retail category of the entire shopping weekend. Foot traffic to stores selling these products displayed nearly twice the growth of retailers selling other gift items, like jewelry or apparel. Brick-and-mortar shoppers were out in full force this year, numbers showed—and they may have a reason to stick with the tradition.

A study from fraud and authentication technology firm Iovation revealed that suspected online retail fraud increased by more than a quarter (29 percent) during the start of the 2019 holiday shopping season, compared with the same time frame in 2018. Data revealed that suspected fraud has increased by 60 percent since 2017.

Iovation’s findings came from analysis of retail transactions between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday over the past three years, analysts said.

Nearly half of all consumers (46 percent) are concerned about having their information stolen while shopping online over the holiday season, according to a recently released Holiday Retail Fraud study from TransUnion.