2019 Retail Ranking: Black Friday and Cyber Monday


The latest transaction data on how retailers performed during this year’s busiest shopping week — Cyber Five. Read on for our full analysis and key takeaways:

  • Amazon surpassed Walmart as shoppers’ First Choice Retailer for the holiday shopping period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2019
  • Small retailers with niche audiences rose or maintained their ranks for online sales

Earnest Research First Choice Retailer Methodology

The Earnest Research First Choice Retailer Rankings are based on the credit and debit card spend of millions of de-identified U.S. consumers. Earnest identifies each shopper’s First Choice Retailer by comparing their spend across 300 retailers between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. For example, if Shopper A spent $700 at Amazon, $500 at Walmart and $300 at Target, their First Choice Retailer would be Amazon.

Below, we present the latest data on consumer behavior during the 2019 Cyber Five week.

Amazon Surpasses Walmart as US Consumers’ First Choice

For the first time, Amazon topped Walmart as the First Choice Retailer among US consumers in 2019 during the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday shopping period. Target and Costco maintained their top four First Choice Retailers rankings. BJ’s Wholesale, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and TJ Maxx are all new to the top 15 First Choice Retailer ranks in 2019, replacing Gamestop, Petsmart, and Michaels, respectively. Macy’s* moved up the list, beating Dollar General for a spot in the top 10.

Amazon Dominates, Specialty Retailers Gain

Online shoppers preferred Amazon during the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday shopping period in 2019, with Walmart coming in a distant second place. Target gained on Best Buy* for the number three spot in 2019, with Costco displacing Black Friday favorite Audible. The presence of several small merchants in the top 15 Online rankings, such as Chewy and Ipsy, suggests that services with loyal followings and niche offerings can dominate the spend of their customers during the holidays. Dick’s and Ipsy are new to the list for 2019, replacing QVC and Dollar Shave Club.

The Brick and Mortar Hierarchy Persists

Walmart and Target again dominated in-store spend over Cyber Five 2019. Kohl’s* and Dollar Tree both gained two positions vs 2018, while Michaels and Petsmart slipped in the In-store rankings. Meijer is new to the list in 2019, replacing GameStop.


  • *Retailers marked with an asterisk do not include spend made on store-branded cards that will likely not be paid down until after the Cyber Five period. These retailers are most sensitive to the exclusion of Store Cards.
  • Cyber Five analysis includes seven days spanning Thursday, November 22, 2018, to Wednesday, November 28, 2018 and Thursday, November 28, 2019 to Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
  • Analysis conducted over the 300 largest retailers in Earnest coverage, excluding retailers that primarily sell groceries.
  • Walmart’s sales do not include sales made through Walmart’s Online Grocery platform.
  • Analysis excludes Apple and eBay retail sales.

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