Cyber Week Results Turned Out To Be More Virtual Than Reality

NPD Holiday Shopping Bag 2017 Weekly Report: Week 5

Cyber Monday and the week that followed delivered a slight uptick in overall U.S. holiday spending compared to Thanksgiving week declines, however not to the degree that many early reports indicated. Cumulatively retail sales for the first five weeks are up 2 percent across the key general merchandise categories in NPD’s Holiday Shopping Bag. Despite lukewarm results this week at retail overall, e-commerce sales got a definite boost from an increase in buyers and spending among those buyers, according to NPD’s Checkout information. 

Week Ending December 2, 2017

Overall Performance

  • Dollar sales in the first week of December 2017 were 1 percent higher than during the same week in 2016.
  • Small Home Appliances, Prestige Beauty, and Technology were the leaders this week, each with dollar gains exceeding 6 percent.

Top Performing Categories

  • Home Automation (driven by Security & Monitoring)
  • Stereo Headphones
  • Kitchen Appliances (driven by Cookers)
  • LCD TVs
  • Sport Leisure Footwear

“Leading segments are struggling to make up for aggressive promotions that counteract positive product movement in others,” said NPD’s Chief Industry Advisor, Marshal Cohen. “The final weeks of this holiday season will be critical as delivery deadlines approach and consumers are driven back to the stores to complete their shopping.”

NPD’s Checkout information shows that more online buyers took advantage of Cyber Week promotions in 2017 than in 2016, and they spent more than they did last year. However their spending was much more fragmented, as it was spread out across a larger number of online orders and days. The highest incidence of buyer penetration* occurred on Cyber Monday, but the average spend per buyer increased only slightly compared to last year. The greatest increases in spend occurred later in the week on Tuesday and Friday with more than 7 percent growth.

“While there is a definite increase in online activity, the growth in online spending does not translate into overall retail growth,” added Cohen. “We continue to see a redirection of holiday spending driven by promotions, rather than an increase in spending that is product driven.”

Information is collected from a panel of leading retailers that provide weekly point-of-sale data covering U.S. in-store and online sales of Apparel, Toys, Technology, Athletic Footwear, Prestige Beauty (Fragrance, Makeup, Skincare), Small Home Appliances, and Office Supplies.

Note: Shifts may occur from week to week in reporting results, due to retailer reporting updates.
*Buyer penetration is the percentage of the U.S. adult online buying population that made at least one purchase during the week noted.

Checkout delivers the most comprehensive view of consumer purchase behavior for general merchandise categories, across all retailers over time, to help you understand how to adjust your marketing to fuel growth. Checkout E-commerce offers the most complete and accurate view of the online channel – including  first and third-party sales for Amazon and other marketplaces, 400+ e-commerce retailers including direct-to-consumer, and  an early read on emerging players. Information is collected from more than 3 million consumers, through data provided by our partner Slice Intelligence and NPD’s own proprietary receipt-harvesting mobile phone app.

For more information, or to speak with Marshal Cohen, please contact Janine Marshall, 516-625-2356 or, and visit NPD’s Holiday Insights page.

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