1. Cyber Monday frenzy
Adobe is crunching data on ecommerce transactions, tracking 80 percent of online transactions for the 100 largest retailers. Per the firm, consumers spent $840 million through 10 a.m. Monday, equivalent to a 16.9 percent year-over-year growth.
Moreover, Adobe predicts that today will be the biggest U.S. online shopping day ever, with web traffic up 12 percent. In terms of mobile, smartphones and tablets make up 53.3 percent of traffic and 39.7 percent of revenue.
2. Early bird shopping
With more consumers shopping online, Walmart, Toys R Us and Target are a handful of retailers that started ramping up online deals before Thanksgiving to prepare for the flood of online shopping.
According to Adobe, consumers spent $15.12 billion on Saturday and Sunday, a 10.1 percent year-over-year growth. Search advertising drove 22.4 percent of sales from paid media while direct traffic made up 26.9 percent and email contributed to 19.7 percent of sales.
3. Small-screen shopping
Shoppers are increasingly moving from desktop to mobile (which includes smartphone and tablets) to not only research products but also shop.
According to Salesforce, mobile made up 64 percent of shopping visits this weekend, up from 54 percent last year. For sales, mobile made up 43 percent of orders, an 10 percent increase from 33 percent last year.
4. Message overload
Retailers are notorious for sending out massive numbers of emails and notifications around the holidays that promote time-sensitive deals and this year was no exception.
On Black Friday alone, retailers sent nearly three billion emails, more than 82 million SMS and push notifications and collected 8.8 billion data points, like email sign-ups.
5. Small retailers nail mobile
Surprisingly, it’s not big brands that are driving mobile conversions. According to Adobe, websites from small retailers that make $10 million or less convert twice as much as bigger retailers that make $100 million or more.
During Small Business Saturday, which encourages consumers to shop from local merchants, mobile traffic hit 56.7 percent of total web traffic, indicating that smaller retailers are providing easy-to-navigate and simple mobile sites.
Next year will mark a milestone for US ecommerce, as more than half of digital buyers in the country will use a smartphone to complete a purchase during 2017. According to eMarketer’s latest forecast, 95.1 million Americans ages 14 and older, or 51.2% of digital buyers, will make at least one purchase via a smartphone.
“Most shoppers regularly browse and research on their smartphones, but they’re now also making purchases with them,” said eMarketer retail analyst Yory Wurmser. “As mobile sites become better optimized and screen sizes grow, it’s becoming easier for shoppers to complete the purchase on the smartphone, which will drive mcommerce numbers up for the next several years.”
Looking at sales, 2017 will also be a benchmark year as $75.51 billion, or 50.0% of all retail mcommerce sales, will be transacted on smartphones. That will be up from 48% in 2016. As smartphones’ share of mcommerce sales continues to rise, tablets’ share will continue to fall. This year, tablets will capture 50.6% of mcommerce sales, with that figure falling to 48.7% next year. For perspective, mcommerce this year will represent 32.0% of all ecommerce sales, but just 2.6% of total retail sales.
Yet even as smartphones continue to capture a larger portion of ecommerce sales, challenges remain. Far more shopping sessions are initiated on smartphones than are completed on smartphones. This year, 165.8 million Americans 14 and over will shop (that is, browse, research or compare products) on a smartphone, but not necessarily complete the purchase on their phone. That figure represents 78.5% of total digital shoppers in the US.
“In order to get people to make purchases on their phones, retailers need to make it as easy as possible for consumers,” said Wurmser. “That means fully optimized mobile websites, a checkout process with few steps, and fully personalized merchandising.”