Consumers in the United States spent $108.2 billion online during the 2017 holiday season, up 14.7% over the same period last year, according to new data from Adobe Analytics. That’s nearly $1 billion dollars more than predicted in its November analysis.
And there’s more: A whopping $35.9 billion was spent via mobile devices, which accounts for a record-setting 33.1% of online holiday revenue coming from smartphones or tablets. Mobile also accounted for 52% of traffic to retail websites during the holidays.
“We think that online shopping bested predictions in part because of a strong holiday season in general,” said Siddharth Kulkarni, managing analyst with Adobe Digital Insights (ADI). “Industry and government reports cite strong consumer sentiment, low unemployment, and a strong stock market as driving strong holiday season spending.”
Of course, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the biggest online shopping days during holiday 2017. Cyber Monday came in at $6.6 billion and Black Friday at $5.0 billion in online revenue. While Thanksgiving still represents a smaller portion of the sales during that period, it is interesting to see that it has the highest growth in sales year over year.
“One reason Thanksgiving day saw some of the strongest online growth may be that several prominent retailers like REI closed their physical stores on Thanksgiving and urged consumers to do their shopping online that day,” explained Kulkarni.
The analysis is based on aggregated and anonymous data in Adobe Analytics from 1 trillion visits to over 4,500 retail websites and 55 million SKUs.
The five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday raked in $19.6 billion in online sales, which is up 15.2% from last year.
“Consumers also spent more time and money than ever on their mobile devices during Thanksgiving weekend in 2017,” Kulkarni said. “Over $7 billion was spent on mobile over the holiday weekend, and that’s 35.7% of all online revenue during that time. We expect that number will only continue to grow as retailers become better at converting smartphone traffic.”
According to the analysis, retailers saw a 14.2% improvement in smartphone conversion year over year for the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. Natural and paid search led the holiday season for driving revenue. Search drove 44.8% of online holiday visits, with natural search at 21.3% and paid search at 23.5%. E-mail was also prominent during the holiday season at 20%.
“Regardless of how consumers feel about the number of email messages they are receiving, email as a channel continues to be an extremely effective way for retailers to reach consumers,” Kulkarni said. “Right now is the time to be nurturing all those holiday season customers via email, to turn them into loyalists and eventually, repeat buyers.”
View the full report below, or click here to view it on Slideshare.
About Adobe Digital Insights
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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