First-quarter U.S. e-commerce sales grew 14.1% compared with the first quarter of 2017, according to Adobe Analytics’ Digital Dollar report—a new year-round report that tracks revenue trends beyond the holidays.
While not as strong as Q4’s 2017 year-over-year growth of 14.7%, Adobe says this is the first-ever Q1 with more than $100 billion in U.S. online retail revenue. Adobe’s data is based on an analysis of more than 1 trillion visits to more than 4,500 retail sites and 55 million SKUs, and it measures online transactions at what Adobe considers to be 80 of the largest 100 U.S. web retailers.
Additionally, Salesforce recently released its Shopping Index report with similar Q1 2018 findings, including 14% e-commerce growth over Q1 2017. Salesforce’s findings analyzed shopping activity of more than 500 million consumers across the world. Shoppers spent on average 5.6% more per e-commerce visit in Q1 2018 versus Q1 2017, according to Salesforce’s data.
Mobile shopping accounted for 41% of e-commerce orders for Q1, according to Salesforce. In addition, mobile made up 23% of e-commerce revenue, Adobe says. Mobile also accounted for 43.6% of e-commerce site visits, while 47.0% came from desktop visits and 9.4% from tablets.
“While smartphone visits to retailers are stabilizing, we don’t think we’ve reached our final equilibrium yet—the data suggests that smartphone shopping will eventually overtake desktop visits,” says Taylor Schreiner, director for Adobe Digital Insights. “The main takeaway for retailers is that consumers are quickly becoming more comfortable making significant purchases with their phones.”
Adobe’s report credits Q1’s U.S. e-commerce growth to the increasing importance of sales surrounding holidays. For example, Adobe’s data found a lull in purchases just before and after President’s Day as consumers target shopping for the sales it might bring.
“We’re seeing a slowdown in spending in the days just before a key shopping holiday, and then a boost when the sales begin—the pattern suggests that increasingly savvy online consumers are waiting to compare retailers’ deals, and then spending big when the prices dip,” says Sid Kulkarni, manager for Adobe Digital Insights. “While these smaller holidays aren’t about to compete with November and December spending, they’re a big opportunity for retailers to make a splash and build customer loyalty in the months leading up to major year-end spending.”
Adobe predicts a positive Q2 for e-retailers. It says e-commerce sales will grow 19%, rather than its usual 14% predicted growth year over year, thanks to Memorial Day, which Adobe credits as the fastest-growing online shopping day of the year—along with Thanksgiving Day.
“We think Memorial Day this year is going to be an especially huge opportunity for retailers to grab consumers’ attention,” says Kulkarni.
But no single day outside of those between November and December have achieved more than $2 billion in sales. Retailers have been trying to manufacture their own shopping spikes by launching their own holidays like Amazon’s Prime Day and Wayfair’s recent Way Day, which saw sales during the week of Way Day up 91.2% compared to the same week a year earlier, according to data from Slice Intelligence.
The U.S. Commerce Dept. will report its quarterly estimates later this week