Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and that means so is the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season: Black Friday. But it’s Cyber Monday that savvy shoppers should really have their eyes on, as it traditionally performs better and offers a broader spectrum of deals.
Last year, consumers spent a cumulative $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday — almost two billion more than they did on Black Friday, even though both were mainly online savings events. “Cyber Monday used to have a reputation as the online counterpoint to Black Friday, but, with Black Friday going largely online, there's less of a distinction,” says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert with RetailMeNot, to Yahoo Life.
Consider Cyber Monday 2022 your last chance to take advantage of some of the biggest price drops of the year on pretty much everything for yourself and everyone on your gift list.
When is Cyber Monday 2022?
Cyber Monday falls on November 28, 2022 — as always, the Monday after Thanksgiving, which in turn is always the third Thursday of November. That also means Black Friday falls on November 25, 2022.
How is Cyber Monday different from Black Friday?
In some ways, it's not that different. However, at one point it was the online version of the in-store Black Friday deals.
“Over the years, we've seen so much repeat pricing on the exact same products on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” says McGrath. Some Cyber Monday deals will be better, but don’t just hold out for them. The smart move, says McGrath, is to plan to focus on the categories that don't sell out on Black Friday — clothes, tools, kitchen gadgets and small appliances. Some retailers restock electronics and tech that sold out on Black Friday, making Cyber Monday your “second chance” to score on those popular items.
Is everything on sale on Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday tends to encompass more deals in a broader range of categories, so identifying Cyber Monday’s strongest categories in advance will be the key to shopping success. “The first and most important category will be Whatever You Missed Out On for Black Friday,” McGrath reiterates, noting that you’ll likely find Black Friday tech and appliance deals — AirPods, Apple watches, TVs, KitchenAid appliances — repeat themselves on Cyber Monday. Then look for best-of-the-year savings on small kitchen appliances, tools, clothes and shoes, beauty products, books and movies.
She continues: “Retailers are still overstocked with pandemic-popular items, like small home goods, countertop appliances and casual clothing. So expect good deals in those categories.”
Which stores have good Cyber Monday sales?
Nearly every retailer offers some sort of discount, but some stores' deals are better than others. Historically, Target, Nordstrom Rack, Macy's, Kohl's, Home Depot, Best Buy and Amazon have offered some of the biggest savings.
Will inflation impact Cyber Monday this year?
Last year, more than 180 million people shopped over Thanksgiving weekend, and they spent a total of $10.7 billion, just $100 million shy of the record set in 2020 — proving that the economic volatility triggered by the pandemic most likely impacted spending habits. Experts say it’s unclear how inflation will affect Black Friday behavior this year, but they have their theories.
McGrath previously stated that 70% of shoppers are taking inflation into consideration this year, according to a Rakuten survey. That means people are not necessarily waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday itself to maximize savings.
“Spreading out their shopping will help to prevent [consumers’] budgets from taking a hit all at once,” notes Ramhold. One possible caveat? “If starting prices are higher, then that means [potentially] higher deal prices when all is said and done.”
What are the deals not to miss?
Apparel: Historically, this is Cyber Monday’s biggest category, so expect a slew of great apparel deals. “Clothing deals are also good on Black Friday, but retailers get very generous with Cyber Monday sitewide promo codes – and with retailers overstocked on a lot of casual wear right now, we expect them to go hard on Cyber Monday this year,” notes McGrath. Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with DealNews.com, digs a little deeper. “Stores like Nordstrom Rack will take up to 60% off jeans and could offer an extra 40% off, as well,” she tells Yahoo Life. “Designer goods will be part of these sales as well, with stores like Coach Outlet taking up to 70% off, and stores like Belk could have ‘buy 2, get one’ promotions on boots.”
Beauty products: Style and beauty go hand-in-hand, and that’s the case when it comes to Cyber Monday deals, too. Beauty was the top growth category on Cyber Monday 2022, rising almost 50% in sales, and it was even a standout category in 2021, when consumers shopped less in general. “There will be a variety of beauty categories on sale for Cyber Monday, including specific brands at Amazon for at least 20% to 30% off as well as up to 50% off beauty items in general. Watch for stores like eBay to offer beauty deals as well, such as up to 60% off select fragrances,” predicts Ramhold.
Shoes: Some years, Cyber Monday shoe sales are on par with beauty sales, so this is another category to flag for the big day. Cyber Monday is going to be the best time to shop for shoes for the whole family, as stores like Target will take at least 50% off boots while kids' shoes will also see discounts of 50% off at OshKosh B'Gosh as well as department stores like Macy's.
Travel: Cyber Monday will be a great opportunity to gift someone an experience, or to lay the groundwork for your own. Travel is on the rise in a major way since the height of the pandemic, so this should be a strong category this year especially. “Cyber Monday still has a reputation for travel deals. And, while they're often the same deals that have been running since Black Friday, retailers will promote them again with a Cyber Monday promo code,” says McGrath. “And they're not as likely to sell out as products are, so Cyber Monday can safely be your travel-shopping day.”
Kitchen items: If you missed out on Black Friday appliance deals, Cyber Monday won’t disappoint. Ramhold says to look out for deals on “small kitchen items including things like appliances but also storage options, such as spice racks for $30 at stores like Wayfair. Meanwhile, Amazon will likely discount things like Instant-Pots up to 35% off, but Kohl's will take up to 50% off small appliances, as well as an additional 20% off. Watch for department stores…to take up to 70% off kitchen items in general, as well.”
Movies, music, books: These always make great gifts, and Cyber Monday will be your opportunity to pounce, says Ramhold. “There may be specific movies and music on sale at stores like Amazon and Best Buy, but watch for special promotions to drop the cost of Audible Premium Plus by 60% for three months, or for Amazon to offer a $5 coupon off print book purchases of $20.”
Tools: If you missed a great Black Friday tool deal, try again on Cyber Monday. “Shop the best tool deals at stores like Home Depot, which could take up to 50% off, while Lowe's could discount specific brands like Craftsman and offer gift cards with select purchase amounts,” says Ramhold.
Are supply chain delays still a thing this year?
"Any supply chain issues we're seeing this year aren't at the same level as those in 2021, but that doesn't mean they're totally gone,” says Ramhold of the pandemic-related shortages and delivery delays we experienced last year. So, barring any worst-case scenarios, we should be fine in that regard,
“Retailers have had a year to plan to avoid the massive delivery delays we saw last year, so shopping Cyber Monday should leave plenty of time for stuff to arrive before the holidays,” notes McGrath. “But that's assuming no big surprises or snags.”
Cyber Monday Shopping Strategies
In a year marked by massive inflation and the aftershocks of an epic supply chain crisis, it's more crucial than ever to devise a smart strategy to maximize savings and really stretch your dollars this Cyber Monday.
Do your price research: Ramhold advises to make a list of items you're interested in buying, then note their current prices at the retailers you like to shop. That way, you’ll be able to spot a great Cyber Monday deal as soon as you see it. “The most important thing is to know exactly what you want. What specs you want in a TV or laptop and which headphones you want,” says McGrath. “Consumers shouldn’t assume that just because a product is discounted that it’s the best price out there. I recommend checking for the product on one to two other retailers to compare the regular price with a potential “sale” price to ensure you’re actually getting the best deal,” echoes Kristen Gall, Retail and Shopping Expert for Rakuten.
Stay on top of the ads: Cyber Monday ads are already coming out, so pay attention, says Ramhold. “It may be helpful to follow your favorite retailers on social media and sign up for their email newsletters as well, since they may announce the ad release that way as well as other important details, like when the sales will begin.”
Try to get cash back: “In addition to doing a price comparison, you can ensure you are getting the absolute best price by stacking deals to maximize savings,” says Gall. “Cash Back services like Rakuten allow you to earn cash back on top of sale prices. For extra savings, plan to apply promo codes or digital coupons, and use a rewards credit card to extra earn points or cash back.”
Keep up with TikTok: “I think we’re going to see large discounts on products that are trending on social media, especially on TikTok, such as Dyson products,” says Kristen Gall, Rakuten Retail and Shopping Expert, to Yahoo Life. Yes, TikTok! You may need your grandchildren or the tween next door to give you a tutorial on this popular Gen Z social media app, but Gall says it will be a crystal ball for Cyber Monday deals.
Best early Cyber Monday deals — happening now!
Let's face it: Cyber Monday is no longer an isolated occasion. Neither is Black Friday or the extended Thanksgiving weekend, for that matter. Nowadays, the year's most unprecedented deals are up for grabs the entire month of November — and if you count Amazon's Early Access Sale and Target's Deal Days, they actually start in October!
Last year, almost 50% of shoppers took advantage of pre-Thanksgiving holiday sales according to the National Retailer Federation (fun fact: the NRF coined the term ‘Cyber Monday’ in 2005). And this year, 44% plan to do it again. “According to our survey, 70% of shoppers are taking inflation into consideration this year,” adds McGrath, so shoppers are also beginning their holiday shopping earlier than ever in an effort to spread out cash flow. But massive early Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are happening as we speak at most of the major retailers. Here are the early Cyber Monday deals to shop right now!