Do you remember when Cyber Monday wasn't a thing? In late November 2005, The New York Times reported: "The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked." At that time, internet connections in most homes were slow.
Fast-forward 15 years; foot traffic is down, fewer people are returning to offices, and most people have much faster connections at home. Monday had all the makings of an epic online shopping day. In fact, ABC News reported earlier this week: Cyber Monday expected to be biggest online shopping day in US history. But the shopping holiday is no longer confined to the U.S., so Akamai prepares for the day with its global retail customers and observes trends to ensure flawless performance and protect retailers' websites by averting the most sophisticated threats.
As it happens, that reporting was accurate. Forbes reported on Tuesday that "Cyber Monday was projected to be the largest online shopping day in U.S. history and it delivered just that - a 15.1% increase over last year coming in at $10.8 billion for the day."
The first thing Akamai witnessed was that visits to retailers' websites increased by 28% YoY on Cyber Monday, and the peak hourly visits also increased by 27% YoY. The peak hours were 11 AM-12 PM ET in 2019 and 9-10 AM ET in 2020.
Additionally, we looked at the following data points for online shopping on Cyber Monday, comparing 2019 to 2020:
- Shoppers on mobile versus desktop:
- Mobile: increase from 58.74% to 66.76%
- Desktop: decrease from 37.54% to 28.55%
- Bounce rates on mobile versus desktop:
- Mobile: increase from 36.45% to 37.78%
- Desktop: decrease from 27.14% to 25.95%
- Conversion rates on mobile versus desktop:
- Mobile: increase from 2.01% to 2.36%
- Desktop: increase from 4.04% to 4.45%
In 2019, Akamai witnessed 4 billion total retail attacks across its platform, with 66 million being credential abuse/stuffing attacks. This year, we saw those numbers jump exponentially to almost 10 billion and 84 million, respectively, an increase of 79% in credential attacks alone. Cyber Monday hasn't just grown exponentially for online shopping, it's also become a huge holiday for cybercriminals, as evidenced by these numbers. The primary reason? Some of the biggest sales and most sought-after products are held until Cyber Monday, making them rich targets for threat actors to go after, including some highly anticipated gaming consoles. Bot operators can snap up inventory to resell on the gray market, and those looking to inflict financial pain on a business can severely compromise revenue generation by overwhelming infrastructure through DDoS or web application attacks.
While some retailers focused their budget on marketing efforts in 2020, and understandably so, security needs to be a priority for the months ahead and throughout 2021. All data indicates that online shopping is on the rise - and right alongside it, cybercrime.
Learn more about solutions that can help your online business thrive and protect your online properties at akamai.com/retail.