Over the past number of years, Thanksgiving weekend has increasingly turned into a 'deal-apalooza' with merchants offering discounts galore that start earlier and earlier.
Experts predicted that this year, e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday would surpass $9 billion. According to Adobe Analytics, $9.2 billion in sales was generated. One reason for the spike? Cyber Monday fell one week later this year than last year, on December 2nd (compared to November 26th in 2018). That means consumers have only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get all their shopping done.
As subscription purchases become an increasingly larger part of mainstream purchasing habits – from streaming entertainment to box of the month clubs – we anticipate subscription purchases during the holidays to expand exponentially.
With 165.3 million people in the US shopping during this critical time, did subscribers put the cha-ching in Cyber Monday? Let's find out by looking at six key metrics across more than 500 B2C subscription businesses.
Year-over-Year growth for 2019's Cyber Monday on a site-by-site average, was 81.68%. This was an increase over 2018's growth of 77.42% and 2017's growth as well, at 72.45%. By looking at same-store sales on a site-by-site average, we see that Cyber Monday benefits businesses of all sizes, not just behemoths like Amazon.
Compared to an average day during the study period (11/25-12/1/19), Total Payment Volume (TPV) on Cyber Monday was 55.22% higher. This is a significant boost in payment volume and indicative of the revenue driven by increases in average transaction size on Cyber Monday.
The average transaction size on Cyber Monday was $23.97 compared to only $15.89 on an average day during the study period, which is a 50.89% increase. This growth illustrates that even though merchants will typically discount prices on Cyber Monday, consumers are motivated by these offers to spend more.
Gift card purchases showed healthy double-digit gains on Cyber Monday, with a 54.03% increase when compared to the same shopping period in 2018. Gift cards are becoming more common and accessible within subscription commerce. Gift cards are a highly effective tactic to acquire new customers and leverage a brand's most-loyal subscribers.
Alternative Payment Method TPV experienced an 89.87% growth over the entire study period when compared to 2018. Enabling alternative payment methods such as ApplePay, PayPal or Amazon Pay is becoming more common for merchants, and more consumers are taking advantage of the convenience of using these types of payments.
New subscriber acquisition got a healthy boost on Cyber Monday, seeing a 30.34% increase compared to an average day in the study period. Cyber Monday is a significant driver for new subscribers who take advantage of discounted sign-up offers, coupons, and gift cards.
Subscription brands from FabFitFun, Barkbox, and Causebox to streaming media companies like DisneyPlus offered compelling Cyber Monday deals to drive revenue now and into the future. As we can see from the increase in most metrics, Cyber Monday is a significant driver of revenue and new subscribers for subscription businesses, large and small. The challenge for e-commerce brands going into 2020 will be to maintain this bump in sales by turning these newly acquired customers into long-time subscribers.
Recurly compared data for Cyber Monday (Dec 2, 2019) against the week prior* (Nov 25-Dec 1, 2019) for this recap. Over 500 B2C companies processing new and recurring subscription payments on the Recurly platform were queried for the data. Transaction data was aggregated and anonymized; no personally-identifiable data was used in the study.