Category: ‘Holiday Season’





The Impact of Mobile Commerce on the Holiday Season

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm

If one trend emerged from the 2014 holiday season, it’s that more consumers are choosing not to wait in lines on Black Friday but instead shop at home from their smartphones and tablets. Mobile (and tablet) commerce continues to evolve in the online retail world and has become a focal point for many retail strategies during the holiday season and moving into 2015.

But what should online retailers know about the impact of mobile commerce on the holiday season? Here are a few things…

  • Mobile sales account for a large (and growing) portion of sales on key retail holidays – According to IBM, U.S. mobile sales accounted for 22% of all 2014 Cyber Monday sales and 41% of all site traffic. In general, consumers had more site sessions via smartphone devices but converted at a higher rate on tablet devices (mobile 2.2%, tablet 5.7%). Tablets also had an average order value of $121, over $20 more than smartphones.

 

  • Mobile devices are used to check prices (especially with older shoppers) – While mobile sales continue to increase, these sales are primarily skewed towards younger shoppers who are more comfortable purchasing on mobile devices. Especially for shoppers over the age of 40, mobile devices are used to check prices but rarely used to buy online (only 6% of all mobile purchases are made by consumers in this age range).

 

  • Black Friday is even more popular than Cyber Monday for mobile U.K. users – Mobile sales grew 36% year-over-year on Black Friday in the U.K. and was led by a surge in mobile traffic with over 60% of all site sessions originating from mobile devices. 47% of all 2014 Black Friday sales also occurred on mobile devices, 4% more than the Cyber Monday percentage.

 

  • In-store mobile payments are also becoming more common – Some consumers have become more comfortable with online shopping on their mobile devices because they occasionally use these devices for in-store purchases. According to Accenture, only 58% of U.S. internet users have never made an in-store mobile payment, down significantly from 83% in 2012.

 

  • Mobile advertising continues to be a minor factor during the holiday season – Despite the strong number of mobile sessions during the holiday season, very few retailers opted to increase their paid search spend on these devices (especially smartphone only ads). Only 9% of all holiday advertising spends between November 27 and December 1 were used on smartphone paid ads.

 

  • E-mail marketing continues to be key for driving mobile holiday sales – With more consumers relying on their mobile devices as their primarily method for e-mail communication, it has become key for retailers to get the right messages into their inbox. On Black Friday, e-mail marketing impacted approximately 27% of all online retail sales, with many sales happening on mobile devices or through a cross-device purchasing path.

 
 
In conclusion, the emergence of mobile commerce was one of the most impactful trends during the 2014 holiday season. As we look into 2015, mobile devices will likely continue to increase not only in sessions on online retail sites but also in conversion rates as a larger percentage of consumers continue to become more comfortable completing transactions with their mobile devices.

 

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2014 Holiday Shopping Preview (Infographic)

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm

The 2014 holiday shopping season is almost here!

Our new infographic looks at data for the 2014 holiday shopping season to help retailers prepare for the coming months. With a focus on digital and overall retail sales, carrier statistics, and general holiday trends, this holiday season has been predicted to be one of largest holiday shopping seasons ever…

2014 Holiday Season Infographic

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2013 Online Retail Holiday Predictions

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

The holiday season is set to get into full swing next week as online retailers start to roll out their major promotions – yes, even before Thanksgiving. So what do the industry experts expect for the online retail industry this holiday season? Here’s a breakdown of some key 2013 online retail holiday predictions…

Adobe has unveiled their 2013 holiday season predictions which includes a prediction for a record setting $2.2 billion in online retail sales this Cyber Monday. Both Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday are also projected to surpass $1 billion in online sales for the first time ever. Of all the predictions made so far, Adobe’s predictions appear to be the most bold with strong sales forecasts.

Digital business analytics company comScore has predicted U.S. online sales via desktops to increase 13-15% year-over-year in 2013. The exact same percentage range was predicted by comScore last year. Cyber Monday was also projected by comScore to be up to $1.8 billion in 2013, a 20% increase year-over-year, but approximately $400,000 less than the Cyber Monday prediction made by Adobe.

Somewhat in-line with comScore’s holiday predictions, digital marketing research firm eMarketer has predicted holiday sales to increase by 15% year-over-year across all devices. Overall online sales for the entire fourth quarter of 2013 were projected to reach $61.8 billion, although the 15% increase would represent the smallest percentage increase in holiday growth of any quarter so far in 2013.

On the fulfillment and delivery side, UPS has forecasted what it is calling a “solid” holiday season, stating that package volume during the final week before Christmas is projected to be up 6.2% this year to 120 million packages. As an interesting trend, UPS has changed their classification of “holiday peak” from a broad term (Thanksgiving through Christmas) to now represent only the last two weeks before Christmas. This is primarily due to the eCommerce industry and is somewhat due to consumer behavior – now many online shoppers will delay purchases until later in the holiday season or buy many items from one online retailer and split the large purchase, sending out multiple packages at the end of the holiday season to different people.

In Canada, online holiday season growth is expected to continue to take up a larger percentage of budgets as, according to consulting firm Deloitte, consumers are projected to spend 19% of their holiday budget with online retailers this year. This percentage rises to over 25% in Toronto, which is the largest metropolitan area in all of Canada.

The sophisticated nature of the U.K. eCommerce landscape has resulted in strong online retail predictions this holiday season. According to the Kinetic U.K. Panel, approximately 40% of U.K. internet users plan to do at least “most” of their holiday shopping online this year.  Only 10% of U.K. internet users said they would not attempt to shop online at all this holiday season.

In conclusion, an array of sources have predicted strong, double-digit growth for online retailers this holiday season, both in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. While Cyber Monday is projected as the highest revenue day of the holiday season for online retailers, many other days are also projected to perform well – Adobe has predicted eight days this holiday season to reach or surpass $1 billion in sales.

As the holiday season continues, be on the lookout for our holiday recaps later this year where we aggregate all the best holiday data together and look at the emerging trends from Cyber Monday 2013 and the 2013 online holiday season as a whole. We can’t wait to see the results!

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