The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to bolster already-growing Cyber Monday sales.

Cyber Monday sales aren’t expected to break last year’s record. It will shatter it.

Analysts expect the biggest online shopping day of the year will net companies $12.7 billion in sales, a 35% year-over-year increase from 2019’s $9.4 billion.

John Copeland, Adobe Analytics’ head of marketing and customer insights, said pandemic-era consumer behaviors and increased shipping options are making “this year unlike any in the past.”

“For the first time we are no longer referring to peak holiday sales as Cyber Week – it’s now Cyber Month,” he said. “As retailers adapt to consumers’ new behaviors in this pandemic, we expect earlier discounts, more shipping and pick-up options and uncertainty around in-store purchases to drive this year’s online holiday sales to record highs.”

Part of the reason is growth in popularity of curbside pickup. What analysts call BOPIS (“buy online, pick up in store”) – also known as “click-and-pick” – will account for 40% more orders this year compared to 2019. Adobe expects BOPIS orders to account for half of all purchases as people panic-buy during the week leading up to Christmas.

E-commerce is not entirely the realm of giant corporations; Adobe forecasts smaller retailers will see a larger boost of their revenue from online sales, 107%, compared to large retailers whose online revenues exceed $1 billion. Those companies are expected to see an 84% increase.

However, large retailers still account for the bulk of online purchases, with sales growth expanding at 55% year-over-year compared to 8% for small businesses.

The online-pickup option is becoming more popular, with 33.2% sales growth from last year, giving brick-and-mortar stores a way to compete with internet-only retailers. Adobe estimates 82% of click-and-pick customers also plan on doing additional in-store shopping while picking up their orders.

Analysts say COVID-19 has sped up the shift to online shopping, and holiday deals are starting earlier. Even with the pandemic and job insecurity, a Deloitte Retail Trends report says overall spending during the holiday shopping season – considered Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 – is expected to increase by 1-1.5% from 2019.

Deloitte forecasts that 2020 e-commerce holiday sales will grow by 25-35%. At the same time, Deloitte says in-store sales are expected to drop by 2.7%.

During the pandemic-free 2019 holiday shopping season, more Americans shopped online during Thanksgiving weekend than in stores, according to BlackFriday.com said, citing data from the National Retail Federation.

“As far as we are concerned, Black Friday has been an online event for years,” the website said.

Check out the source