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FLEXE Hub: Black Friday & Cyber Monday recap

A roundup of the latest news on logistics, retail, and industry trends

Here’s our annual recap of what went down during the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Records were broken ... and so were some websites ... but the Instant Pot remains as popular as ever.

Read on for the biggest retail and logistics headlines from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Cyber 5 analysis

Digital Commerce 360 just released a new article highlighting some of the Cyber 5 activity (Cyber 5 = the five-day holiday between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday). You can read the full article here, and some high-level recaps below:

  • eCommerce spending hit $28.49 billion, up 17.7% year-over-year
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday remained the top two most popular shopping days out of the five day stretch
  • 58% of consumers shopped online on Cyber Monday; 53% on Black Friday
  • 71% of online shoppers shopped on Amazon; Walmart came in 2nd at 34%
  • 89.3% of packages arrived on time according to original delivery estimate, according to recent Convey data

The Black Friday / Cyber Monday retail highlights

  • Things got crowded: Close to 190 million people shopped in-store and online during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend—far surpassing 2017’s 175M and 2018’s 166M. (NRF)
  • Black Friday beat Cyber Monday: The cyber sales started early, and so did shoppers. For the first time ever, Black Friday had more digital shoppers than Cyber Monday, 93.2 million to Cyber Monday’s 83.3 million. (Retail Dive)
  • But Cyber Monday broke previous records: Cyber Monday sales increased 17% from last year, coming in at $9.2 billion. (SupplyChainBrain)
  • Individual spending is up: Consumers spent 16% more than last year—on average each shopper spent $361.90. (Retail Dive)
  • More people shopped online than in store: There were 124 million in-store shoppers, 142 million online shoppers, and 75 million who did both. (NRF)
  • Mobile was up, brick-and-mortar was down: Black Friday mobile orders were up 35% from last year, but store visits decreased 6.2% (Retail Dive)
  • Store pickup grew in popularity: One out of every 5 purchases was picked up in-store. (Retail Dive)

Let’s talk logistics

Ship it!

With all the eCommerce spending there was an increased focus on last-mile delivery and shipping speeds over the BFCM weekend. Compared to the holiday season last year, there’s been a 27% increase in shipping volume, creating additional strain on already stressed logistics networks. But according to Convey, most retailers have been able to handle it. They found that “negative customer feedback is 28% lower for the 2019 holiday season” and “almost nine out of 10 packages (89.3%) arrived within their original estimated delivery date” which is an 82.3% increase from last year.

Via Chain Store Age

Retail, reinvented


While most companies saw the shopper turnout as a good thing, a couple had more than they could handle. Costco’s website went down on Thanksgiving day, causing them to extend their promotions into Friday. H&M, Nordstrom Rack, and Home Depot also had some reported technical difficulties as a result of the above-average site traffic.

So, how bad is it to have your website crash on the biggest shopping day of the year? ChannelAdvisor estimates that for every hour your site is down you lose approximately 4% of the day’s sales. Ouch.


What made the list?

Every year has its own top sellers of the holiday season, and 2019’s have been revealed. Business Insider, Amazon, and eBay released their lists of the top-selling products and categories of the big holiday shopping weekend.

The Instant Pot’s reign continues, ranking as the 3rd most popular item after the Amazon-owned Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick. eBay’s top-sellers included external hard drives, store gift cards, and drones. And Business Insider found that its readers bought everything from sheets to content streaming platforms. Here are the top 10 from their list:

  1. Disney+
  2. Parachute bedding
  3. Allbirds
  4. Bombas socks
  5. Echo Dot
  6. Instant Pot Duo
  7. iRobot Roomba
  8. Repel Umbrella
  9. Hulu membership
  10. Fire TV Stick

Via eBay, USA Today, Business Insider

What’s Amazon up to?

Breaking records

Amazon one-upped itself again. According to a company press release, Cyber Monday was "once again the single biggest shopping day in the company's history, based on the number of items ordered worldwide” stating that they "sold more items during Cyber Monday 2019 than any other 24-hour period in the company's history."

But…. Edison Trends found that other retailers may have actually had bigger year-over-year gains than the retail giant. Nordstrom and Walmart were the big winners—earning a 60% increase and a 53% increase in consumer spending, respectively. While Amazon saw a 49% rise.

Amazon is also dealing with the increased costs that come with providing faster fulfillment to meet Prime one-day delivery. As a result, Well’s Fargo lowered its estimates for Amazon’s operating income and earnings in 2020 and 2021.

Via Retail Dive

FLEXE news & events

2019 eCommerce and Fulfillment Report is live!

The FLEXE eCommerce Fulfillment and Logistics survey, combined with industry data, uncovered several key insights highlighting both the challenges and opportunities in the market.

What's next?

Read what industry experts think about the future of retail and logistics, in our Future of Commerce and Future of Supply Chain collections!

On-demand warehousing 101

Take a course in on-demand warehousing. Our 101 series covers everything from what on-demand warehousing is to the supply chain challenges it solves. Get started here.

Old news

In case you missed them, check out our last few FLEXE Hub’s: ‘Tis (almost) the season, Retail & logistics in the next 20 years, and The Retail Apocalypse in 2019.