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Cyber Five 2023 will be remembered — fondly by ecommerce consumers — as the year that discounts were everywhere

Read “The State of Commerce 2023” report

“The State of Commerce 2023” report

Cover of Signifyd's State of Commerce 2023 report

When the history of ecommerce is written, 2023 might well go down as the year that discounts saved the Cyber Five. 

After months of concern over whether inflation-weary consumers would be willing to spend when the traditional start of the holiday shopping season rolled around, consumers showed up — big time — for the stretch from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

Online sales were up 8% for the five-day affair, with a big year-over-year increase in discount use fueling the shopping frenzy. Online orders with discount codes attached increased by 38% during the Cyber Five compared to last year, peaking at 46% higher on Black Friday and reaching 43% higher on Cyber Monday.

Sales were solid to strong throughout the long weekend increasing by 4% on Thanksgiving,  11% year over year on Black Friday, 7% on Saturday, 8% on Sunday and 7% on Cyber Monday. 

Consumers in survey after survey indicated that they would be looking for bargains this holiday season and online brands and merchants apparently delivered. 

“Consumers have been saying that value is especially important to them this holiday season,” Signifyd Chief Customer Officer J. Bennett said. “Merchants have heard that message and responded. And for their part consumers have said, ‘These discounts represent true value. Now is the time to buy.’”

Popular discounts were the key to Cyber Five success in 2023

A look at discounting by day indicates how important markdowns were to the success of Cyber Five 2023. Besides the big boosts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers used 31% more discount codes on Thanksgiving than they did in 2022, 29% more on Saturday and 32% more on Sunday.

The traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping period (which now starts in earnest in October) provided some other encouraging signs. Holiday shoppers returned to categories that had traditionally been gift-giving favorites, but showed some weakness in October. 

Luxury goods, beauty and cosmetics, apparel, alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, and leisure and outdoor goods all experienced double-digit year-over-year percentage growth during the Cyber Five. Grocery was also up double digits. Electronics continued to struggle, with sales down 2% year over year. 

Cyber Five 2023 sales vs. Cyber Five 2022 by vertical 


Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis +29%
Grocery and household goods +20%
Beauty and cosmetics +14%
Luxury goods +13%
Leisure and outdoor +12%
Fashion, apparel and luggage +11%
Home goods and decor +4%
Electronics -2%


The 8% overall spending increase was double what Signifyd had projected in early October and dramatically outpaced the expectations of other experts as well. The question now becomes whether the expectation-shattering performance was the sign of things to come — or whether it means consumers’ gift-shopping budgets are now exhausted for the season. 

Did the big Cyber Five success merely pull December sales forward?

“I’ll be curious to see how much of the Cyber Five spending was a pull-forward from December,” Bennett said. “If I had to project right now, I’d say November is going to end stronger than we projected, and December will fall a little short of expectations. Consumers have said they have a set budget for the holidays. They’re just searching for the best value, the best place to spend that money.”

Whatever the case, it could mean online brands and merchants will need to keep offering discounts to keep customers coming back. There are any number of ways the data from the Cyber Five demonstrates just how important discounts were in the success of the annual festival of shopping.

For the whole of Cyber Five, consumers included discount codes with 29% of the orders they placed. That figure ranged as high as 32% on Sunday and never went lower than 25%, which is where it sat on Thanksgiving Day.

Portion of orders including a discount code — 2023 vs. 2022 


Thanksgiving  25% (up from 20% last year) 
Black Friday 26% (up from 21% last year)
Saturday 30% (up from 25% last year)
Sunday 32% (up from 26% last year)
Cyber Monday 30% (up from 24% last year)
Cyber 5 29% (up from 24% last year)


The markdowns had the effect of lowering prices during the Cyber Five. A Signifyd analysis that compared prices for 175,000 goods during the first half of the year to what they were during the Cyber Five. The study found average prices were 11% lower over the long weekend effectively neutralizing inflation. The average size of the discounts themselves ranged from a high of 19% on Black Friday to 3% on Sunday.

Fraud appeared to take a holiday break during the Cyber Five 

Among the weekend’s many bright spots: Fraud pressure — or the number of orders Signifyd deemed to be fraudulent — dropped by 20% over last year’s Cyber Five. The figure was a welcome one, given that U.S. merchants faced a massive fraud attack during holiday 2022. An organized fraud ring last year made off with an estimated $660 million in goods from online retailers nationwide while attempting fraudulent purchases of more than an estimated $3 billion in products. 

A deep dive into the Cyber Five’s daily numbers

Thanksgiving offered the slowest day of year-over-year sales growth during the five days.

Thanksgiving 2023 year-over-year comparison with Thanksgiving 2022  


Online sales +4%
Average order value  0%
Fraud pressure* -31%

Black Friday led in sales growth, as it should be for the day that historically has been synonymous with shopping until you drop.

Black Friday 2023 year-over-year comparison with Black Friday 2022 


Online sales  +11%
Average order value. 0%
Fraud pressure* -19%

*Fraud pressure is defined by the fluctuation in the number of transactions that Signifyd models deem very risky.

Saturday matched the sales growth of Cyber Monday, but remember the sales volume was not even close, meaning the growth was on a much smaller base. 

Cyber Saturday 2023 year-over-year comparison with 2022 


Online sales  +7%
Average order value. +4%
Fraud pressure* -14%

*Fraud pressure is defined by the fluctuation in the number of transactions that Signifyd models deem very risky.

Sunday showed strong growth, but see “sales volume” above. 

Cyber Sunday 2023 year-over-year comparison with 2022 


Online sales  +8%
Average order value. +7%
Fraud pressure* -17%

*Fraud pressure is defined by the fluctuation in the number of transactions that Signifyd models deem very risky.

Cyber Monday ensured that the Cyber Five 2023 finished strong. 

Cyber Monday 2023 year-over-year comparison with 2022 


Online sales  +7%
Average order value. +4%
Fraud pressure* -23%

*Fraud pressure is defined by the fluctuation in the number of transactions that Signifyd models deem very risky.


Signifyd’s Holiday Season Pulse Tracker data is derived from transactions on Signifyd’s Commerce Network of thousands of ecommerce retailers and brands. Commerce Network intelligence also powers Signifyd’s Commerce Protection Platform, which leverages AI-driven machine learning models and data from millions of transactions to detect and block fraudulent activity. Signifyd has seen more than 600 million unique shopper wallets globally, meaning that 98% of the time when a shopper comes to a Signifyd-protected site, Signifyd’s machine-learning models recognize the shopper instantly. For a tutorial explaining the methods and meanings behind Signifyd’s Holiday Season Pulse Tracker visit Signifyd’s YouTube channel.

Photo by Getty Images

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Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Mike is the head of storytelling at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at [email protected].