20211201_Thanksgiving_Sales_IBTimes Estimated Thanksgiving weekend e-commerce revenue in the United States (in billion U.S. dollars) Photo: Statista/IBT

After years of unabated growth, Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales dipped for the first time this year, as many shops spread out deals over the entire Thanksgiving week or even further. “With early deals in October, consumers were not waiting around for discounts on big shopping days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday,” said Taylor Schreiner, Director at Adobe Digital Insights.

According to Adobe’s estimates, U.S. consumers spent $10.7 billion this Cyber Monday, just down from $10.8 billion in 2020. Black Friday spending also just missed last year’s total, coming in at $8.9 billion vs. $9.0 billion in 2020.

The fact that the dedicated shopping holidays didn’t beat spending records doesn’t mean that shoppers are cutting back on their holiday spending this year. They’re merely spreading it out. Between November 1 and November 29, U.S. consumers spent $109.8 billion online, which is an 11.9 percent increase over last year’s total for the same period. Remarkably, 22 days have exceeded $3 billion in online sales this November, up from just 9 days in November 2020 and further proof of shoppers are spending their holiday cash more evenly this year.

With all that said, do we even need Black Friday and Cyber Monday anymore? Well, it depends. While it certainly feels like the overabundance of discounts throughout the year has watered down the importance of special shopping days, people will always be willing to save money on genuinely good offers. So it’s up to the retailers to counter the deal fatigue with discounts that offer genuine savings instead of just marking down inflated original prices.