Cyber Monday is expected to pull in $9.4 billion this year, a $1.5 billion increase from last year's online sales tally for the Monday after Thanksgiving. The real detail retailers need to know? Thirty percent of all sales made this Cyber Monday, which falls on December 2, will likely will be made in the four-hour window of 7 to 11 p.m. Pacific time.

That's according to Adobe Analytics' Holiday Forecast 2019, which analyzed data on trillions of visits, products, and transaction data from U.S. retail websites. Adobe also surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers in October as a companion to its findings.

The report notes that retailer conversion rates, which measure the number of people who visit a website and then make a purchase, are predicted to double during the four-hour surge in sales. Adobe says these "golden hours of retail" are due to "deal FOMO," or the fear of missing out on last-minute deals near the end of the day. Retailers are getting one more golden hour than last year: In 2018, Adobe predicted the transaction rush would mostly happen between 7 and 10 p.m. Pacific, and the average visit to an online retailer during those hours was worth $9.

"Our data certainly shows elevated purchasing occurring throughout the day, and during work hours; however, we see peak purchasing occurring during those golden hours in the evening, likely due to last-minute purchases before the day is done," explains Vivek Pandya, lead analyst for Adobe Digital Insights. "We also expect many consumers who have been browsing and researching products earlier in the day will be making their purchases after work."

It goes without saying that retailers need to be running glitch-free websites, including frictionless payment processing, on Cyber Monday. To maximize the opportunity to attract shoppers, Pandya says brands ought to prominently display deals and emphasize the limited time left on offers.

Besides the uptick in sales on Cyber Monday, Adobe projects Thanksgiving will bring in $4.4 billion in online spending and Black Friday will drive another $7.5 billion. The five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday will generate about $29 billion in online sales, or about 20 percent of total holiday season revenue online, according to the report.

While the bad news this year is that the 2019 shopping season is six days shorter than last year's, Adobe predicts that for the first time ever, each day in November and December will surpass $1 billion in online sales. The report pegs the grand total for holiday retail sales online at $143.7 billion.

As an employer, there's at least one more bit of good news in the report: The forecast for productivity on December 2 is looking good. "On normal days we also see people shop mostly during the work hours," Pandya says, "but Cyber Monday is very different from everything else, and we see peak purchasing occurring in the evening."

Published on: Oct 29, 2019