According to new analysis by Adobe Digital Index (ADI), U.S. retailers raked in a record $73.4 billion in online sales during November and December 2014, which puts holiday season online sales up 12% year-over-year (YoY).
“Retailers in the U.S. are very dependent on the holiday season,” said Tyler White, an analyst with ADI. “This key two-month time period represents only 17% of the year, but brought in an impressive 28% of annual online sales in 2014.”
Mobile accounted for 16% of all online sales during the two-month period but played a much bigger role on key online shopping days, reaching 28% and 29% of online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, respectively, White said. The majority of mobile buying was done via iOS devices. In fact, nearly half of all mobile sales came from customers using iPads.
Online Brings People In-Store
In addition, in-store pickup proved to be a differentiator for brick-and-mortar retailers over their online-only competitors. On high-traffic in-store shopping days, such as Black Friday, consumers chose to skip long lines by shopping online and picking up in-store. On Black Friday, in-store pickups swelled to 40% above the average day and stayed high throughout the Thanksgiving weekend. In-store pickup rates went up dramatically again just before Christmas, when it was too late to wait for items to be shipped.
Additionally, digital wallets, which further blur the line between the offline and online, have seen an increase in adoption since the launch of Apple Pay. In fact, 35% of consumers said their mobile phones let them pay for goods and services via a digital wallet technology, and 47% have actually used their device to make a digital wallet payment.
According to White, consumer expectations for more personalized, connected experiences are growing, and retailers are struggling to keep up because they don’t have a single, integrated view of customers across channels.
IPhone 6 and 6+ devices were the top gifts this holiday season, according to social buzz. Wearable devices, namely the FitBit, came in second, followed by ultra high-definition TVs by Sony and Samsung.
As for the most buzzed about toys, Guardians of the Galaxy came in first, followed by My Little Pony and Transformers.
Separately, at the NRF Big Show in New York City, Adobe will be unveiling a series of enhancements, aimed at retailers, across key areas of the Adobe Marketing Cloud. For more details, click here.
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Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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