E-commerce sales increased 18% year over year for the 2017 holiday shopping season, Nov. 21- Dec. 26, according to e-commerce platform and technology service provider Salesforce Inc. Commerce Cloud.
Salesforce bases its data off of 2,750 e-commerce sites and 350 million shoppers in 53 countries. The day after Christmas, Dec. 26, had a 19% increase in online sales compared with the 2016 season and a 14% increase in site traffic, Salesforce says.
Mobile sales were also strong throughout the holiday shopping season and on key days, such as Christmas Day, when smartphones accounted for 68% of traffic and 50% of online transactions, and Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23), when smartphones accounted for 62% of traffic and 46% of orders.
Traffic to top e-commerce websites increased 15% year over year on Dec. 31, according to Verizon’s Holiday Retail Index, which monitors Wi-Fi traffic via desktops and mobile devices to the top 25 U.S.-based online retailers based on annual revenue.
On New Year’s Day, total traffic grew even more with a 32% year-over-year increase compared with the same day last year, according to Verizon.
“Retailers have been successfully wrapping up the season as consumers rang in 2018 by taking advantage of end-of-year promotions and other appealing offers,” says Michele Dupré, group vice president, retail, at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “The big chill in much of the country likely helped to heat up the digital marketplace too,” she adds, referring to the cold weather in many parts of the U.S.
Web measurement firm SimilarWeb Ltd. also saw traffic increases to top U.S. e-commerce sites. Amazon.com, No. 1 in the in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, for example, increased its overall daily traffic year over year Nov. 1-Dec.31 by 1.2%, which is more than 1 million additional visits per day to the web giant. Walmart.com (No. 3) increased its traffic by 2.4% during this time period.
Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (No. 25) and Adidas AG (No. 52) had the greatest year-over-year holiday traffic increases, according to SimilarWeb. Adidas.com’s traffic increased 18.4% during the 2017 holiday season compared with 2016, and Lowes.com’s traffic increased 16.9% year over year.
Some of those traffic gains came with a price tag. Retailers had to buy more of their search traffic during the holiday season than they did in the months proceeding it, according to SimilarWeb. For example, on average between August-October 2017, 86% of Amazon.com’s desktop search traffic stemmed from organic search and 14% via paid search, whereas in November, 83% of search traffic was organic versus 17% paid.
Only Costco Wholesale Corp. (No. 9), which had 100% organic traffic, and Walmart (68% organic, 32% paid) maintained their paid versus organic search ratio from August-October into November, according to SimilarWeb.