Shoppers spent $108.15 billion online in November and December 2017, surpassing Adobe’s projection.

Shoppers spent $108.15 billion online during the holiday period of Nov. 1-Dec. 31, which is a 14.7% increase compared with $94.4 billion in 2016, according to data released Tuesday by Adobe Digital Insights at the National Retail Federation 2018 conference in New York City. Numbers are rounded.

Consumers spent at least $1 billion online on 58 days of the 61-day holiday stretch, up from 53 of 61 such days in 2016. The only three days that consumers didn’t spent at least $1 billion online were Dec. 23, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, 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.

The $108.15 billion surpassed Adobe’s pre-holiday season projection that shoppers would spend $107.4 billion during the holiday period of November and December.

Michael Klein, director of industry strategy for retail at Adobe, partly attributes such a strong holiday season to the longer period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year compared with last year. Many consumers get in the holiday shopping mindset after Thanksgiving and a few more days between the two holidays means consumers have longer to buy online before shipping cutoffs later in the season, he said.

Sales on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, totaled $35.9 billion for the holiday season, which is a 28.0% year-over-year increase, according to Adobe data.


Retailers have had a mobile infrastructure and strategy in place for a few years now and “2017 was better optimization of the mobile strategy,” Klein tells Internet Retailer at NRF. He also was encouraged by the increase in mobile conversion rates during the holiday season. Over what’s known as the Cyber 5, which is the five-day period of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, mobile conversion rose more than 14% year over year, according to Adobe data.

When it comes to mobile’s share of e-commerce sales, smartphones continue to chip away at desktop’s share, while tablet share remains constant. In 2017 sales via smartphones accounted for 23% of holiday sales, generating $25 billion; tablets 10% with $10.8 billion; and desktops 67% with $72.3 billion. (Numbers are rounded.) This compares with 2016, when smartphones generated 21% of holiday sales, tablets 10% and desktops 69%.

In terms of traffic, mobile accounted for 56% of visits to e-commerce sites during the 2017 holiday season, with smartphones generating 46% of traffic and tablets 10%.

Adobe also finds that search traffic drove the most revenue during November and December, at 44.8%, and that traffic breaks down to 21.3% organic and 23.5% paid.


Payment processor First Data finds that e-commerce accounted for 29% of all transactions during the Oct. 28-Jan. 1 period, up from 26% in the comparable period in 2016. Its results are based data on from more than 1.3 million U.S. merchants.

First Data also finds that the average ticket size for retail bricks-and-mortar was $68.57, compared to $103.49 for e-commerce.