Category: ‘Holiday Season’





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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Preparing For the 2013 Online Holiday Season

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

Even though it’s still summer, the holiday season is approaching and many online retailers will begin making decisions surrounding their holiday initiatives very soon. So what can online retailers learn from the holiday season last year and, more importantly, how can they transition this information to improve in 2013? I sat down with our web analytics specialist, Jacob Knettel, to look at some holiday eCommerce figures from last year to help draw conclusions about what to possibly expect for the coming holiday season…

Our research is a compilation of data from eleven PFSweb clients (six consumer goods clients and five retail clients) comparing the combined months of September and October 2012 with the combined months of November and December 2012 (the “holiday season”).

Overall Holiday Trends

  • New site visits increased 32% during the 2012 holiday season compared to previous months, repeat visitors also increased 23% in the same timeframe
  • The conversion rate increased 0.4% from 3.5% to 3.9% during the holiday months
  • New customers increased by 49% during the holiday months, repeat buyers were up 33%

 

Mobile / Tablet

  • Mobile sessions increased 33% and tablet sessions increased 32% during the holiday season compared to previous months
  • Mobile sales were up 53% during the holiday season last year and accounted for 4.4% of all holiday season sales, tablet sales increased 48% and accounted for 14% of all sales
  • At a minimum, online retailers should prepare for one-third of their 2013 holiday traffic to come via mobile or tablet devices and one-fifth of sales to come from these devices

 

Below is a graph which projects the estimated traffic by device for this coming holiday season…

 

Black Friday / Cyber Monday

  • Black Friday accounted for 13% of total holiday sales on average in the 2012 holiday season – Cyber Monday accounted for 15% of sales
  • The conversion rate on Black Friday and Cyber Monday was significantly higher (5.7%) than the rest of holiday season (3.9% – a 46% increase)
  • E-mail marketing remains a key driver of sales on these online holidays – 29% of Black Friday and 40% of Cyber Monday on-site sales came from promotional e-mails

 

In conclusion, online retailers can again expect strong growth during the 2013 online holiday season as consumers continue to change the way they shop online. Desktop sessions continue to be replaced by mobile and tablet sessions which is directly related to an increase in the amount of mobile and tablet sales. Major online retail holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday will continue to drive a large portion of online sales during the holiday season, with some retailers poised to see over 30% of their online holiday sales come directly from these two days alone. At a minimum, retailers should generally assess their technology infrastructure as the number of overall site sessions and orders will likely increase once again for online retailers this holiday season.

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Green Monday Results and Holiday Season Growth

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

Approximately two weeks ago Cyber Monday took the online retail space by storm as the industry saw record sales of approximately $1.5 billion in a single day. While this online holiday is still relatively new, an older one by the name of “Green Monday” (the second Monday in December, the 10th of December this year) seems to be making a bit of a comeback.

While Cyber Monday is more associated with people shopping after their Black Friday efforts, Green Monday was once known as the last day to shop in order for consumers to get their gifts delivered on-time. Although Green Monday is still important in the eCommerce industry, consumers now put more trust in on-time deliveries from online retailers and will certainly continue to place holiday orders all the way through “Free Shipping Day” (December 17th).

Cyber Monday usually receives the glamour of being “the busiest online shopping day of the year” but in reality, according to comScore, this has only recently been true. In previous years, Green Monday was traditionally the day where online sales peaked during the holiday season, with a continual build-up in sales starting after the Thanksgiving weekend. Only recently, due to the intense promotion, has Cyber Monday taken the title as the top online shopping day of the year. Green Monday is now usually one of the top three online shopping days of the year.

To put it succinctly, Green Monday is the day that traditionally kicks off the biggest online shopping week of the entire year. Usually the first week of December also posts strong sales, but this year online shopping in this week grew only 9% year-over-year to $6.44 billion, the only single digit growth week of the holiday season so far.

So how did Green Monday do this year? Let’s take a look at the results… (more…)

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