Deal hunters are on track to spend a record $12 billion on Cyber Monday as they snap up deals on items including Barbie dolls, Lego sets, headphones, and smartwatches. The online spending figure, a preliminary estimate from Adobe Digital Insights, would be the biggest for Cyber Monday and cap off a holiday shopping bonanza that started with Black Friday on Thanksgiving day and continued over the weekend.
Retailers have been coaxing inflation-weary consumers to open their wallets with push notifications, text messages, and video streaming ads touting heavily discounted cosmetics, electronics, toys, and clothing. That seems to have worked, with U.S. shoppers already having spent $8.3 billion as of 6 p.m. EST, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks data through the software maker’s Experience Cloud service for e-commerce platforms. A record number of price-pinched shoppers are also expected to use buy now, pay later services to relieve stress on their wallets.
Analysts say the season’s hottest gifts are toys, electronics, and home goods. Toy sales are up by more than 11 times the levels in September, and purchases of appliances have jumped nearly 7. In addition, the amount Americans put on their credit cards has reached new heights, with average APRs now topping 19%. That pushes more people to seek discounts and buy now, pay later options like the flexible BNPL payments from PayPal.
Despite the economic challenges, many consumers have already started holiday shopping, and analysts expect this to continue next week. Retailers have been releasing deals earlier than usual this year, with some online sales beginning over the weekend. In addition, many retailers have expanded their Black Friday offerings to a multi-day event, allowing customers to shop well into the night and early morning.
For instance, online retailers like Amazon have been offering early-bird bargains on 2023 Barbie dolls, such as a deluxe townhouse with an elevator and 30% off or a Barbie Fast Cast Clinic Doll & Playset that’s 37% off. If you’re buying for someone who loves to camp, a Malibu Barbie camping set with a sleeping bag, binoculars, a puppy, and more is 50% off.
In a sign that online shopping has become more mainstream, even among millennials and Gen Z shoppers, some retailers are offering deals on e-readers such as the Fire HDX 10.8 with built-in Alexa that’s down from $299 to $199 and a Kindle Paperwhite with built-in Alexa for $69.99. This is an excellent time to buy an e-reader as the industry continues shifting from traditional printed books to a digital format, with more choices than ever.