A record-setting 196.7 million US consumers shopped over the Cyber Five

The news: A record number of consumers, 196.7 million, shopped in stores and online over the Cyber Five, per the National Retail Federation. That’s 17 million more than last year and 7.1 million more than the previous high set in 2019.

  • Brick-and-mortar retail drove that growth as 122.7 million people visited physical stores over the five-day stretch, a 17% increase year-over-year (YoY).
  • The number of online shoppers grew 2% YoY as 130.2 million people shopped online.

Sales gains outpaced inflation: Shoppers spent an average of $325.44 on holiday-related purchases over the Cyber Five, up 8% from $301.27 last year, per NRF.

  • More shoppers spending more money helped drive significant gains. Mastercard SpendingPulse reported that US retail sales from Thanksgiving Day to Sunday rose 10.9% YoY excluding automotive, with in-store sales increasing 10.5% YoY and retail ecommerce sales growing 12.5% YoY. Sales slightly moderated on Cyber Monday as total sales rose 9.7%, with in-store sales up 9.2% and retail ecommerce sales increasing 10.9%.
  • That said, there is some discrepancy across data providers as Adobe Analytics reported more muted results with retail ecommerce sales rising 4% over the Cyber Five. Consumers spent $107.7 billion online, up 8.7% YoY, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 28, per Adobe Analytics.

The impact of economic uncertainty: Retailers’ steep discounts drove consumers to spend. For example, the average discount across the Cyber Five on electronics was 23.6%, toys was 33.3%, and apparel was 15.1%, per Adobe Analytics.

  • Economic uncertainty drove many to alternative payment methods. For example, buy now, pay later (BNPL) orders jumped 85% the week of November 19 compared with the previous week. BNPL revenues rose 88% over the same period.

The big takeaway: Despite the challenging economic climate, consumer spending outpaced inflation. That’s a good sign for the rest of the holiday season.

  • We expect 7.0% retail sales growth this holiday season.

Go further: Read our full US Holiday Shopping 2022 report.