Another holiday, another online shopping record broken. Cable once again was a major player in fueling an online spending boom over the Thanksgiving shopping period that included Black Friday and Cyber Monday as consumers continue to choose their internet over a trip to the store to make holiday purchases.
Thanks to the internet, online shopping pulled in $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving (up 14.5% from last year), $7.4 billion on Black Friday (an increase of 14% from 2018) and $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day ever and a growth of 19% over last year, according to data compiled by Adobe Analytics. Cyber Week overall saw digital revenue grow by 13% in the U.S., according to Salesforce, which tracks online spending.
About 73% of all website traffic and 55% of all purchases came from a smartphone, according to Salesforce.
Interestingly, the term “Cyber Monday” was first coined in 2005 by the National Retail Federation after it noticed a spike in online sales on the Monday following Thanksgiving. The organization believed it was because people were making purchases from their computers at work, where internet connections were faster and their kids couldn’t get a sneak peek at their gifts.
Since then, increasingly faster internet speeds have made shopping at home or with a mobile device a breeze. In just a few years, internet speeds have quadrupled, allowing cable broadband to meet consumer needs not only for shopping, but also for streaming, downloading and gaming. At the same time, the cost per megabit per second has dropped by 92% between 2008 and 2018, thanks to the billions of dollars the cable industry has invested to build and constantly update networks around the country.
A speedier internet not only has driven the growth of online shopping, but also the number of U.S. consumers who recognize the benefits of high-speed internet provided by cable. Cable is the leading U.S. broadband provider with about two-thirds of all high-speed internet subscribers – and growing. The nation’s top cable companies, including those providing service in Texas, added about 830,000 subscribers in just the third quarter of 2019
Those Q3 results include an increase of 379,000 high-speed internet customers for Comcast, its best third quarter in 10 years, and about 351,000 high-speed internet subscribers for Charter Spectrum, which outpaced its prior year Q3 gain by nearly 100,000. The two companies are the largest cable providers in Texas.
Cable not only is playing a starring role in howgifts are bought, but also in whatgifts are bought. This year’s hottest gifts again involve technology, many of which rely on the internet to function. For example, some of the most popular gifts purchased thus far include video games and electronics such as wireless earbuds and earphones and smart televisions.
These gifts will only increase the number of internet-connected items that we’ve come to depend on in our homes, from home security to voice assistants to appliances to entertainment. Meeting the growing demand for internet speed and bandwith is only possible because of cable’s continual investment to develop and implement new technology and upgrades that reduce network congestion, deliver faster speeds and make other improvements.
Happy holidays from the Texas Cable Association and our member companies Altice USA (Suddenlink), Charter Spectrum, Comcast and Sparklight.