Online sales will grow 14.8% year over year for the 2018 holiday season and reach $124.1 billion, according to Adobe Analytics’ just-released holiday forecast.
This 14.8% increase is just ahead of the 2017 holiday season’s growth, which Adobe estimates was 14.7% over the 2016 holiday season. Adobe defines the holiday season sales period as November and December. Adobe’s estimate is based on an analysis of trillions of visits to U.S. retail websites, 55 million unique products and transactions from 80 of Internet Retailer’s top 100 online retailers.
Similar to last year, the major online shopping days will be Cyber Monday, reaching $7.8 billion in online sales; Black Friday, reaching $5.8 billion; and Thanksgiving Day, reaching $3.3 billion, Adobe predicts.
Not only will Cyber Monday bring in the most e-commerce dollars over the holiday season, but Adobe also projects that the day will have the highest year-over-year growth among these three days, with online sales increasing 17.6% on Cyber Monday 2018 compared with Cyber Monday 2017. Black Friday online sales will increase 17.2% and Thanksgiving Day sales will increase 16.5%, Adobe estimates.
Merchants with a physical store have an advantage for online sales compared with web-only merchants, according to Adobe. For example, merchants with physical stores have, on average, a 28% higher web conversion rate compared with web-only merchants, according to Adobe data in 2018. Plus, 47% of shoppers visit a store to see a product that they want to purchase online later, according to an Adobe survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers in October.
Adobe also projects mobile sales to increase 11.6% for the 2018 holiday season. Smartphones will account for 48.3% of web visits and 27.2% of sales, and tablets will account for 8.8% of visits and 9.6% of sales.
In addition, mobile devices will further their holiday sales clout over the five-day period around Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, smartphones will drive 35% of sales, which is a 20% year-over-year increase; on Black Friday, smartphones will drive 30% of sales, a 16% year-over-year increase; and on Cyber Monday, smartphones will drive 25% of sales, a 16% year-over-year increase.
Between both desktop and mobile devices, the five-day Cyber Five period will drive 19% of the total online holiday season’s sales, the same percentage as last year, according to Adobe.
According to Adobe’s survey:
- 72% of consumer say they plan to stay home on Thanksgiving vs. shopping in person, compared with 63% in 2016
- 13% of what people spend on the holidays is for themselves
Internet Retailer also forecasts a lucrative e-commerce holiday season. Internet Retailer projects U.S. shoppers will spend $119.99 billion online, which is a 15.5% increase compared with the Internet Retailer-estimated $103.88 billion spent online during the same period in 2017.