Every year, Thanksgiving marks the turn of the holiday season.
After we’ve spent time with our families and eaten a massive spread of food, it’s time to start decorating the house and begin a month-long shopping spree.
But for retailers, this season isn’t just another holiday—it’s a 30-day period that can entirely make or break an entire year. And no weekend is more important than the blitz for sales between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.
According to a Deloitte survey, 2017 marks the first year that consumers expect to do more of their shopping online than in brick-and-mortar stores.
It will take time to get the full picture of 2017 holiday spending. However, now that we’ve had some time to watch the eCommerce stats come in, let’s take a look at the spending season by the numbers so far.
Rounding Up 2017 Online Holiday Shopping Stats
Research from Adobe, Salesforce, the National Retail Federation, and Hitwise paint a picture of the 5 days of holiday eCommerce success. Here are some of the most notable stats from a busy holiday shopping weekend:
- Online shoppers spent $19.62 billion between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, a 15% increase from 2016
- Consumers, on average, spent $335 during the 5-day period
- On Black Friday, a record $5.03 billion was spent online, up 16.9% from 2016
- Cyber Monday was the largest online shopping day ever in the United States with $6.59 billion spent—nearly $1 billion more than 2016
- 58.4 million consumers did all of their holiday shopping online
- Mobile accounted for 47.4% of site visits and 33.1% of revenue over the weekend
- Mobile transactions closed at a 12% higher rate in 2017 than in 2016
- At one point on Black Friday, Shopify was processing $1 million in sales per minute, beating last year’s peak of $555k
Amidst all of these sales records for eCommerce, Thanksgiving and Black Friday in-store traffic is reported to have dropped nearly 2% year-over-year.
This stark difference has resulted in a clear gap between the season’s winners and losers. Here are a few of the winners that stood out to the Layer team.
Amazon is the giant that everyone assumed would win big over the holiday shopping weekend. But to take 45% of all online transactions on Thanksgiving Day and 55% on Black Friday according to Hitwise may have exceeded expectations.
This success only continued through Cyber Monday when Amazon says it claimed its largest global sales day ever.
While other retailers found success this holiday season, it’s clear that industry leaders need to find an answer to Amazon’s ever-increasing dominance.
2. Smaller Businesses
Even though Amazon, Walmart, and other eCommerce giants dominated the weekend, smaller businesses carved out major success of their own.
Platforms like Shopify and the Amazon Marketplace have paved the way for smaller retailers to win the holiday season. Shopify processed more than $1 billion for small retailers and Amazon Marketplace facilitated more than 140 million items sold.
The key here is that consumers have come to expect frictionless digital experiences. If your web or mobile experience isn’t strong enough, holiday shoppers are happy to take their business elsewhere.
3. Best Buy
Best Buy has been one of the retailers most-cited in conversations about how Amazon is turning the industry upside-down. However, the tech retailers has been receiving high praise for its holiday season success.
It’s important to point out that Best Buy’s success has not been credited to any reported sales numbers. Instead, a Business Insider study of social media response on Black Friday found that Best Buy was seeing overwhelmingly positive sentiment toward its brand.
While the sales numbers during this crucial period are important, the customer conversation holds more weight than ever. Brands that can create seamless customer conversations that block out holiday season noise will find success in the evolving industry.
These Trends Will Continue into the New Year
Some retailers spend the entire year preparing on the backend for success during the holiday season. But if you aren’t creating differentiated customer experiences for mobile consumers, you risk getting lost in the noise.
The trends, stats, and winning strategies we’ve discussed here won’t disappear in 2018. If this wasn’t your most successful holiday shopping season, the time is now to revamp your strategy.
In the next part of this miniseries, I’ll take a look at some of the missteps that led to underperformance for many retailers. Or, if you’re ready to take action now, download our free retail playbook to start taking advantage of conversational commerce.
Happy holidays! And good luck with the rest of the shopping season.