Black Friday vs Cyber Monday. Both events are considered to be one of the biggest retail days of the year, with a number of shoppers using them to start on their Christmas shopping early and save on the best deals. With only two days between the events, which one of them is bigger?

Black Friday

Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving day in the US, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping since 1952.

According to market research company Ipsos, Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the year in the US since 2005. In 2014, spending on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession.

Since the start of the 21st Century, retailers with origins in the US have attempted to introduce Black Friday in the UK. While at the beginning the event was not very popular among both retailers and shoppers, it has quickly picked up and according to UK’s online retail association IMRG, the amount spent on UK online retail sites on Black Friday in 2017 totalled £1.39bn.

Meanwhile, based on data from Adobe Analytics, a record $5.03 billion was spent online on Black Friday in the US.

According to Adobe Analytics, this year Black Friday is expected to generate $5.8bn in online sales in the US, an increase of 15.3% on 2017. Shoppers are expected to spend $2.44bn on mobile devices alone.

During the Black Friday weekend that also includes Thanksgiving, the number of shoppers in the US, both in store and online has reached 174 million. This year this number is expected to reach 180 million according to the National Retail Federation.

The National Retail Federation has also found that the average spend per shopper in the US was £335.47 in 2017, with that number expected to grow to $340.33 this year.

Meanwhile, according to a survey by Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce company, Black Friday sales in the UK are expected to reach £4.75bn

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday was introduced in the US in 2005 by the marketing team at Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, and takes place on the Monday after Black Friday.

The idea behind Cyber Monday was to provide online retailers with an alternative to Black Friday, which typically takes places in the store. As at the time of Cyber Monday ‘s inception, most shoppers were still shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, there was a need to persuade customers to shop online.

Cyber Monday has not just caught on in the US, but also in the UK, Canada, France, Portugal and New Zealand, among other nations.

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ComScore reported that online spending in the US on Cyber Monday increased 25% to $608m in 2006, 21% to $733m in 2007 and 15% to $846m in 2008. In 2010, Cyber Monday sales reached $1bn mark for the first time. ComScore also added that in 2010 Cyber Monday was the busiest online shopping day of the year.

Since today most shopping is done online, Cyber Monday is growing in strength both in the US and the UK, becoming one of the most important shopping days of the year with new record number of sales each year.

Adobe Analytics reported a record $6.59 billion was spent online on Cyber Monday in the US in 2017, nearly doubling the total sales of $3.45bn from 2016.

This year, US shoppers are expected to spend $7.25bn according to a research by Adobe Analytics, with $2.5bn expected to be spent on online shopping on mobile devices.

In addition, 95 million shoppers in the US are expected to take part in Cyber Monday sales, in comparison to 81 million from the year before.

Verdict: Black Friday vs Cyber Monday, which one is bigger?

In 2017, Black Friday was the most popular in-store shopping event, cited by 77 million consumers according to the US National Retail Federations.

However, Cyber Monday was the most popular online shopping event with 81 million shoppers, compared to 66 million online shoppers on Black Friday.

In terms of online sales in 2017, Cyber Monday overtook Black Friday by $1.56bn. While in terms of predictions for 2018 Cyber Monday is expected to generate $1.45bn more than Black Friday in the US this year.

According to the findings above, Cyber Monday has overtaken Black Friday as the biggest US shopping event during the Thanksgiving weekend.