2023 US Cyber Week Trends: Unwrapped

As we unwrap the insights for Cyber Week 2023, we got the gift of good news: Rakuten Advertising’s US clients and partners outperformed and outdelivered this holiday shopping season. We saw significant growth year-over-year for clients in key retail verticals including apparel, accessories, footwear, and home improvement as shoppers eagerly sought out the best deals of the season. Read the entire blog for our official recap of Cyber Week 2023!


Cyber Week 2023 was filled with shoppers filling their baskets, looking for the best deals of the season, and they found them in apparel, accessories, home improvement, and more! Our Rakuten Advertising clients saw serious growth year over year in key retail verticals and our loyalty publishers saw click growth above last year’s benchmarks.

As we reflect on this holiday shopping season, we took notice of shoppers beginning their gift searches earlier, seeking out the most bang for their buck. Economic landscapes may have shifted in 2023, but a constant rings true: consumers were ready to spend. This Cyber Week, we explored real-time data trends and insights across our US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Brazil affiliate networks.

2023’s top trends: wallets are open

According to figures from Adobe Analytics, which tracks seasonal e-commerce activity, Cyber Week brought in a whopping $31.7 billion dollars. Cyber Monday has typically been the largest day of the “Cyber 5” shopping days, and this remained accurate in 2023, with Cyber Monday bringing in $12.4 billion alone. Thanksgiving saw $5.6 billion in sales and Black Friday had $9.8 billion in sales, up from 2022 numbers. The combination of strong sales and buy-now-pay-later payment offerings allowed consumers to flex their spending and buy everything on their lists, and more!

Cyber Week 2023 started strong as American shoppers filled their baskets, determined to make this holiday season extra special by getting great deals for everyone on their shopping lists. Armed with their laptops, coupon codes, and shopping wish lists, consumers embarked on a virtual journey through online shopping malls to find the best deals for everyone. From coworkers to children, everyone will be getting something special under the tree.

Rakuten Advertising United States Network | Advertiser Click Data

Cyber Week US Advertiser Data

Thanksgiving Eve

Starting early on Wednesday, unofficially Thanksgiving Eve, consumers saw the discounts roll in as many apparel and accessory brands sent pre-Black Friday discount codes to their loyal customers. These discounts made a difference as click growth for both apparel and accessories started strong, about 2% higher than in 2022, leading to significantly higher order, sale, and conversion metrics year-over-year.

November 22nd saw a 13% increase in orders, a 17% increase in sales, and a solid 11% conversion rate. The high conversion rate proves that consumers were focused on securing those deals from the start. It was a fantastic start to American consumer’s Cyber Week shopping adventure.

Thanksgiving Day

As Thanksgiving arrived, shoppers found themselves grateful for the discounts and in-stock favorites at their top stores. Sales continued to grow YoY for holiday favorites, especially in clothing and jewelry stores, but an unexpected front-runner emerged on Thanksgiving: home improvement. Analysts were pleasantly surprised by home improvement as they hadn’t anticipated the category to be a top sales driver for Cyber Week, but whether DIYing this holiday season or doing an end-of-year renovation, home improvement saw a 11% sales growth YoY.

Black Friday and Cyber Weekend

Black Friday, the top day for online shopping, brought even more excitement and positive year-over-year growth. The Rakuten Advertising network saw apparel clicks increase by 6% compared to 2022, proving that shoppers were excited about the major deals they saw across their favorite brands. It wasn’t just clicks that grew YoY, orders for our apparel clients grew by 11%, and overall sales growth increased by 9% YoY.

Our jewelry category saw similar growth, as they had double-digit increases across all major metrics, top of the list though is same-store sales, as sales grew a whopping 31% YoY this Black Friday. Footwear was also on the mind of many Cyber Week shoppers, from winter boots to a new pair of sneakers, shoppers were ready to open their wallets for some new shoes, leading to a 22% increase in sales YoY.

Cyber weekend saw much of the same, with deals aplenty, shoppers were online browsing the best discounts and promotions to finish up their holiday lists. Overall, our US network saw a 2% increase in clicks on Saturday, November 25th as many retailers bumped up their discount and promotion percentages.

The grand finale: Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday marked the grand finale for Cyber Week and consumers’ online shopping extravaganza! The shoppers who were holding out for the best deals got their reward as Cyber Monday hosted some of the highest and best deals of the entire week and our US network felt this impact with a 3% YoY increase in clicks.

Clicks weren’t the only key metric that rose this Cyber Monday; sales, conversions, and orders were also up in many key retail verticals. Apparel saw an 11% increase in clicks and 9% in sales growth, footwear had 19% sales growth YoY, and both housewares and jewelry were up significantly, over 20% for housewares, and 29% growth for jewelry than in 2022. In addition to key retail verticals, department stores also saw exciting growth, clicks were up 5%, overall sales increased by 17%, and orders increased by 7%, proving that consumers were shopping and spending more YoY, regardless of inflation.

Rakuten Advertising United States Network | Publisher Click Data

Cyber Week US Publisher Data

As we unwrap Cyber Week 2023, we realize one constant: affiliate marketing and its many forms have created an e-commerce ecosystem that has allowed brands, publishers, and customers to thrive during peak holiday shopping periods. Our network of clients and partners continue to outperform and outdeliver as shoppers prove they are still willing to spend regardless of economic shifts, as long as they can get a great promotion on everything on their wish list.

For more insights into the affiliate shopper and how to grab their attention, check out our latest blog on the Affiliate Marketing Shopper: Couponer Edition.

*Data is current as of December 4th, 2023 and will continue to be updated through December 8th, 2023.*
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