Online holiday sales have kept up their momentum in the weeks following the big-spending Cyber 5 weekend, according to new data from Adobe Digital Insights.
Holiday shoppers spent $89.88 billion online from Nov. 1- Dec. 17, which is a 13.1% year-over-year growth rate, according to Adobe. Adobe’s data is based on analysis of 1 trillion visits to more than 4,500 retail websites and 55 million SKUs.
“It’s how far down on the accelerator can you push,” Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, says about how sales are not hitting a plateau but still increasing year over year.
With Thanksgiving landing earlier this year (Nov. 23) than in years past, providing an extra day between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared with 2016, some experts had predicted a slowing of sales between the Cyber 5 weekend and the last-minute holiday rush. The 13.1% growth, however, shows that online spending remains strong, Schreiner says.
“As we add more days to the season, the overall growth rate naturally comes down,” Schreiner says. “December days have a lower year-over-year growth rate than the big online shopping days.”
The $89.88 billion total from Nov. 1-Dec. 17 is roughly 84% of Adobe’s projected holiday spend, which is $107.4 billion through Dec. 31. Sales are on track to hit this mark, Schreiner says.
Consumers have spent more than $1 billion online on each of the 47 holiday shopping days so far, compared with 45 out of 47 $1 billion-spend days in 2016.
Mobile devices continue to gain market share as smartphones and tablets account for 32.4% ($29.13 billion) of the $89.88 billion in e-commerce revenue generated Nov. 1-Dec. 17, which is an 11.8% year-over-year increase. Smartphones generated the bulk of the $29.13 billion in mobile sales at $20.08 billion (22.3%), according to Adobe.
While an increase in mobile sales is no surprise, Cyber Monday’s $2 billion worth of mobile sales ($1.4 billion on smartphones and the remainder on tablets) was “still a pretty impressive moment,” as sales mobile increased 31% year over year from $1.53 billion in 2016. Schreiner says. Mobile traffic has also driven more than 50% of web traffic on most days this holiday season, he says.
With Christmas less than a week away, online consumers are finishing their shopping. While past years have seen a “sales cliff” when online retailers coalesced around a cut-off date when they could guarantee delivery by Dec. 25, this year there’s more of a “sales slope” as more online retailers offer fast shipping options to keep up with Amazon.com Inc.’s two-days-or less delivery offered via its Prime loyalty program, Schreiner says.
Similarly, shoppers are also getting more efficient with their online shopping.
“We are seeing consumers turn visits into purchases significantly more quickly than they were last year,” he says. This means that consumers are looking at fewer websites to make a purchase and looking at fewer pages on the site before deciding to purchase.
For retailers, this means traffic to their websites may have decreased compared with last year.
An Internet Retailer analysis of global visits to 100 holiday-focused shopping sites finds that traffic to these sites is down slightly year over year. The analysis show that more consumers were shopping earlier in the season compared with last year.
Schreiner also notes that email continues to be an effective channel to drive traffic to retail websites. Email’s share of traffic is up 19.2% from Nov. 1-Dec. 17 compared with this time period last year, Schreiner says.
“Email is an increasingly powerful marketing lever,” Schreiner says.
Adobe also finds:
- Sales of TV-streaming devices, such as Chromecasts, and voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Echo, have surged this season.
- Black Friday had the deepest discount on average for appliances (18% off), jewelry (12% off), tablets (24% off) and televisions (24% off).
- Cyber Monday has the deepest discounts for toys at 19% off on average.