Online Holiday Sales Surge, On Track to Break $100 Billion

In all, shoppers spent $2.87 billion online shopping, up 18.3% from last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures 80% of online transactions at the largest 100 web retailers in the U.S.

Have you been naughty or nice?

From the looks of this year’s holiday shopping season, it may not matter. You’re probably unwrapping exactly what you asked for – be it a new smartphone, gaming system, tablet or other top sellers.

Americans are spending billions this holiday season, exceeding predictions, breaking records and setting new shopping trends in e-commerce.

Before the turkey was out of the oven on Thanksgiving, shoppers were on popular retail mobile apps like Amazon, Walmart and Target. In all, shoppers spent $2.87 billion online, up 18.3% from last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures 80% of online transactions at the largest 100 web retailers in the U.S.

On Black Friday, a day traditionally associated with large crowds, long lines and exclusive in-store discounts, retailers saw more than $5 billion in online sales, up nearly 17%.

Cyber Monday proved to be a big win for retailers as well, as nearly $6.6 billion was spent on mobile apps and websites, making it the largest online shopping day in the U.S.

According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday sales have set records every year since 2012.

It seems shoppers are vying for a new customer experience.

Deep discounts, seamless online ordering and convenient fulfillment options are making online shopping an easy choice for consumers.

The shift in holiday shopping is expected to break $100 billion in online sales this holiday season, Adobe reports.

Beyond Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday and even Black Friday are no longer a one-day events.

While nearly 90% of retailers offered Cyber Monday sales, according to The Balance, many online sales blurred the lines between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond.

Flash sales, daily deals and exclusive online sales are no longer limited to a 24-hour window of time. Retail giants including Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy are rolling out a variety of strategies, including launching deals before, during and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

While Amazon sold “hundreds of millions of products” between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to CNN, the company continued exclusive deals long after the clock struck twelve. Today, customers can sign up for “Deal of the Day” and “Lightning Deals” notifications sent directly to your email.

And retailers are seeing results.

According to Adobe’s real-time online shopping tracker, consumers have spent more than $1 billion dollars every day between Nov 1 and Dec 17, bringing the total to nearly $90 billion dollars just eight days shy of Christmas.

While desktop still accounts for the majority of online sales, mobile is fast approaching with more than $20 billion in online sales made via smartphones, as of Dec. 17.

Mobile Shopping on the Rise

On Cyber Monday, more than 33% of revenue came from mobile, with smartphones specifically bringing in nearly $1.6 billion, Adobe reports. As online sales rise, the mobile experience becomes increasingly important. According to Adobe, mobile transactions closed at a 12% higher rate as compared to Cyber Monday 2016.

“Shopping and buying on smartphones is becoming the new norm and can be attributed to continued optimizations in the retail experience on mobile devices and platforms, “according to Mickey Mericle, VP of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe.

The End of In-Store?

In reality, in-store holiday shopping is seeing no significant change.

Overall holiday spending is projected to exceed $678 billion this season, up from $655.8 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Adobe’s $100 billion online shopping prediction is just one sixth of total spend.

On the most popular day for in-store shopping, Black Friday, 77 million consumers visited stores, as compared to 66 million who shopped exclusively online, according to the NRF. And, according to ShopperTrak, a data analytics company, foot traffic only decreased by 1.6% when compared to Black Friday in 2016.

While shoppers may not be choosing online over in-store, it’s clear that having a website or mobile app is an important factor in making a sale.

The NRF found that during the Thanksgiving Day weekend, 63% of shoppers surveyed, used their smartphones to make holiday shopping decisions, and of those, 29% purchased gifts on their phone. The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, asked 3,242 consumers about Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday plans on Nov. 25 and 26.

Results indicate people are browsing online and then visiting retailers in person to make final purchases. Retail Dive’s 2017 consumer survey provides some answers as to why people choose to shop in-store versus online.

  • 62% of respondents want to see, touch and try out items before buying
  • 49% want to take home items immediately versus waiting for shipping
  • 18% like going shopping in stores, possibly due to the social aspect

Another reason why having an online presence is vital for retailers; those who shop online and in-store spend more money. The NRF found the omni-channel shopper spent $82 more than the online-only consumer, and $49 more than shoppers who only visited stores during the Thanksgiving weekend.

In the end, it seems the majority of Christmas gifts aren’t being delivered to Americans’ doorsteps. If anything, the increase in online shopping is creating an opportunity for retailers to create a seamless omni-channel experience to increase overall sales.

After making a list and checking it twice, get online and find out if the deals are nice!


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