Cyber Monday 2018: Which Carriers Shipped the Most & Where it Went

Every year, consumers drag themselves out of a post-Thanksgiving stupor to hit the stores for Black Friday. With some stores now opening as early as noon on Thursday and offering online promotions through the following Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest commercial holidays of the year.

According to Amazon, the five shopping days starting with Thanksgiving itself, nicknamed the “Turkey 5,” broke U.S. records this year with consumers purchasing millions more products than they had the year before. Adobe Analytics experts have revealed that e-commerce sales alone hit a record $8 billion this Cyber Monday alone, making it the biggest shopping day in U.S. history.

Sales figures are the most obvious way to capture a glimpse of the commercial significance of holiday shopping days like Cyber Monday, but it paints a limited picture. To grasp the true scope of this shopping extravaganza, it is interesting to view the shipping data for Cyber Monday purchases.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the sales data for Cyber Monday 2018 and how it correlates with data from the top shipping carriers in the U.S.

A Deeper Look at Cyber Monday 2018

While some families spend their post-turkey hours settled into their easy chairs watching Thanksgiving Day football or sleeping off their third helping of pumpkin pie, others load the kids into the minivan as soon as they finish their last bite and head out to hit the mall.

And then there are the online shoppers. Those savvy savers who avoid the long lines, taking advantage of holiday deals from the comfort of their La-Z-Boys.

According to Adobe Analytics, Thanksgiving Day shopping totals about $3.7 billion online with Black Friday sales totaling over $6 billion. The real money is spent on Cyber Monday – what Adobe has dubbed “the largest shopping day in US history.” John Copeland, head of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe announced that Cyber Monday sales topped $7.9 billion with $2 billion coming in from smartphones, an all-time high.

Financial figures aside, Amazon recently released a report of the types of products that sold on Cyber Monday 2018. Across the “Turkey 5,” Amazon customers alone ordered more than 180 million items. On Black Friday alone, customers ordered over 4 million toys and electronics through the Amazon mobile app and customers around the world purchased more than 18 million toys and over 13 million fashion items over the course of the weekend.

Not only did Cyber Monday 2018 reveal a record number of sales, but Akamai has released data on conversion rates for mobile and desktop devices. Conversion rates for mobile devices averaged 2.72% with desktops averaging around 5.12%. Bounce rates were up as well, with mobile devices bouncing 34.71% and desktops 25.74%.

Cyber Monday Shipments by Carrier

Every holiday season, retailers and customers rely on shipping carriers to get their purchases where they need to go. Shipping carriers hire countless seasonal employees and offer extra initiatives like Sunday delivery to help manage the increased load. They also release shipping deadlines to help consumers make sure their domestic and international shipments arrive in time for the holiday.

During the holiday season as a whole, shipping carriers struggle to keep up with the growing number of holiday sales and the challenge peaks on major shopping days like Cyber Monday. While private carriers like FedEx and UPS shoulder a significant portion of the holiday load, the United States Postal Service takes the biggest piece of the pie.
Here is an overview of the percentage of Cyber Monday 2018 shipments divided by carrier:

  • USPS – 56%
  • FedEx – 20%
  • UPS – 9%
  • First Mile – 9%
  • DHL – 6%

Cyber Monday Shipments by Country

Though Cyber Monday is widely regarded as an American commercial holiday, online purchases made on this day travel around the world. According to 2018 Cyber Monday shipping data, the majority of purchases made in the U.S. were shipped domestically but another 9 international shipping destinations made the list. Here is an overview of Cyber Monday 2018 shipments divided by country:

  • United States – 94.62%
  • Canada – 2.34%
  • Great Britain – 1.26%
  • Australia – 1.03%
  • France – 0.26%
  • New Zealand – 0.15%
  • Ireland – 0.06%
  • Japan – 0.03%
  • Singapore – 0.03%
  • Korea – 0.02%

Cyber Monday Shipments by State

The beauty of online shopping is that customers can purchase from any online store no matter where they are physically located. Some states carry a larger piece of the pie, of course, based on factors such as population and demographics. Here is an overview of the percentages of Cyber Monday 2018 shipments divided by state:

  • TX — 13.50%
  • CA — 11.30%
  • NY — 6.20%
  • FL — 5.40%
  • IL — 4.70%
  • PA — 3.40%
  • OH — 3.10%
  • GA — 3.10%
  • NC — 2.70%
  • NJ — 2.60%
  • MI — 2.50%
  • VA — 2.40%
  • WA — 2.30%
  • TN — 2.10%
  • MA — 2.10%
  • IN — 2.00%
  • MO — 1.90%
  • AZ — 1.90%
  • CO — 1.90%
  • MN — 1.60%
  • OK — 1.60%
  • AL — 1.60%
  • MD — 1.60%
  • LA — 1.50%
  • SC — 1.40%
  • WI — 1.40%
  • KY — 1.30%
  • OR — 1.20%
  • UT — 1.10%
  • IA — 1.00%
  • CT — 1.00%
  • AR — 1.00%
  • KS — 0.90%
  • MS — 0.80%
  • NV — 0.80%
  • NE — 0.70%
  • WV — 0.50%
  • ID — 0.50%
  • NM — 0.40%
  • NH — 0.40%
  • ME — 0.30%
  • HI — 0.30%
  • DE — 0.30%
  • ND — 0.30%
  • RI — 0.30%
  • MT — 0.30%
  • SD — 0.30%
  • DC — 0.20%
  • WY — 0.20%
  • AK — 0.20%
  • VT — 0.20%

Each year, more brick-and-mortar businesses close their doors or take their sales online to meet their customers where they are. Modern technology has made it easier than ever for consumers to find the products they want without setting foot outside the comfort of their own homes.

As holiday sales break records year after year, however, one thing remains constant – someone has to deliver those millions of purchases. Shipping carriers make use of modern technology themselves to streamline the shipping process, and they take steps to prevent holiday delays as much as possible. FedEx hires 55,000 seasonal employees each year, and UPS hires some 100,000 over the period of several weeks while also increasing hours and extending shifts for regular employees to manage the increased holiday load.

The world of consumerism is constantly changing, and it falls on the shoulders of shipping carriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS to carry the burden of that change. Even as the world changes, however, U.S. consumers will still expect their packages to arrive on time and shipping carriers will do their best to meet these demands. 3PL software companies like ShipHero help your business find the best and cheapest carrier shipping options.

*Data based on an analysis of over 100,000 shipments during Cyber Monday 2018.

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