Everyone knows the holiday season from November to the end of December is the most popular time for shopping and gifting.
As a matter of fact, Adobe Digital Insights predicted that online holiday shopping revenue in the U.S.would reach $124 billion in 2018. This is a 14.8% increase compared to 2017.
This can be linked to high consumer confidence and growing trend for retail online purchases.
Additionally, 76% of consumers preferred purchasing gifts online last year. Which, by the way, is the most popular way to shop for gifts now during the holiday season.
I mean, who doesn’t buy Christmas gifts online?
If you prefer shopping at the store, that’s GREAT, but let me tell you which are the top 5 online buying activities for female US internet users nowadays:
- 54.4% purchased a product on Amazon.
- 46.1% researched a product online before purchasing it in-store.
- 44.0% purchased a product via an online marketplace.
- 35.5% purchased a product via a smartphone.
- 31.3% purchased a product through a retailer’s rewards program.
It’s easy to understand why online shopping is becoming even more profitable year after year.
The statistics above speak for themselves.
Businesses have to recognize the importance of online shopping and adjust their sales and marketing strategies to it.
To this end, I’ve compiled 11 online holiday shopping trends and statistics you need to know for 2019. This will show you how important it is to focus on digital shoppers and to listen to their needs.
1. The “Cyber 5” Takes the Lead for Online Shopping Growth
The highest indicators of year-over-year gains are between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. This 5 day-period is what we know as the Cyber 5.
Take a look at the percentage growth below to see how big this growth is:
2. China Is Leading Online Marketplaces Worldwide
China has three of the five leading marketplaces ranked by gross merchandise values.
During 2018, Taobao, Tmall and JD.com sold a total of $1.206 trillion in gross merchandise value (GMV):
- Taobao: $515 billion
- Tmall: $432 billion
- JD.com: $259 billion
3. Email Marketing Is Still Strong
A lot of people underestimate email marketing because a fair amount of users are more likely to delete an email rather than click on it. But the thing is, it’s actually a great tool for segmentation and customization.
Email marketing can increase your conversion rate and make it more attractive for consumers to buy from you.
In fact, retailers sent over 7.6 billion emails during Cyber 5 in 2018.
What was the result of that? 24% of the email subscribers turned into sales.
4. Garments Are The Top Selling Product Category
If you want to attract more customers, listen to what they want.
And that’s exactly what the most successful online stores do and keeps them in constant growth.
For instance, Shopify’s top-selling products during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period in 2018 were shirts, tops, pants, coats, and jackets.
Here’s the full list of Shopify’s top-selling product categories you can use for your strategies:
- Shirts and tops
- Coats and jackets
5. Top Sales Categories Also Include Accessories and Housewares
Apparel, accessories and housewares were the top three sales categories bought in 2017. This trend continued well into 2018, and will most likely make an appearance again this year.
6. Promotional Offers Are HIGHLY Appealing During the Holiday Season
In a recent survey by Deloitte Insights, 95% of people think price discounts are the most appealing promotional offers. This is followed by free shipping (75%) and free gifts (52%).
7. Mobile Shopping Is Still On The Rise
Desktops and laptops remain the most utilized holiday shopping devices. Despite this, mobiles are gradually catching up.
About half of holiday shoppers indicated they plan to use their smartphones to shop. One-fourth also used tablets for the same purpose.
This is a 10% increase from the previous year.
Many people have already made the switch to a responsive or mobile site, but those who haven’t will have to do it soon. Otherwise, they’ll have to face the repercussions of ignoring consumer preferences.
8. Global eCommerce Performance Is Improving
Global retail eCommerce businesses generated $2.3 trillion in sales in 2017. Revenues are projected to reach $4.88 trillion by 2021.
However, China occupies three of the five leading marketplaces ranked by gross merchandise values. This places them at the top of the list of the ten largest eCommerce markets.
Here are some online shopping statistics by country so you can get a well-rounded picture:
- China: $672 billion
- USA: $340 billion
- UK: $99 billion
- Japan: $79 billion
- Germany: $73 billion
- France: $43 billion
- South Korea: $37 billion
- Canada: $30 billion
- Russia: $20 billion
- Brazil: $19 billion
9. Early Shoppers Outspend Late Shoppers
There is a correlation between when shopping begins and how much it’s spent.
Specifically, early shoppers outspend late shoppers. Using the Cyber 5 as a guide—60% of people plan to begin shopping for Christmas gifts before Thanksgiving.
Here’s a breakdown of average spending:
- Those who begin shopping before November spend an average of $1,769.
- Those who begin shopping on or after Thanksgiving spend an average of $1,309.
- Those who begin shopping in the days leading up to Christmas spend an average of $1,284.
- Those who begin shopping after the holidays spend an average of $1,620.
10. Artificial Intelligence as an Effective Tool for Online Shopping
In a recent survey by Brightedge Research, 25.69% of marketers envisioned AI as the next marketing trend.
They also found that 77% of consumers already use an AI-powered service or device regularly.
Artificial Intelligence is driving productivity by capturing relevant actionable data. For you, this means learning how to use AI to improve the customer experience.
11. There Are a Couple of Important Factors That Spur Online Shopping
A Salesforce Research Harris Poll revealed the most important factors for online shopping:
- Price: 80%
- Easy product search capabilities: 78%
- Site performance: 76%
- Intuitive site navigation: 75%
- Speed of checkout: 75%
- Customer product reviews: 72%
- Website’s visuals: 69%
- Relevant product recommendations: 60%
As you can see, most of these factors revolve around how pleasant a shopping experience should be for the customers.
Online holiday shopping is reaching its peak and will keep growing year after year.
Businesses must recognize the importance of seasonal online shopping and adapt to customers needs.
They need to pay close attention to the trends we studied today and the statistics that come with them’
For example, they need to acknowledge that the Cyber 5 is a key period to focus on when it comes to the digital shopper. Likewise, if they expect to make sales, they need to ensure they’re providing their users with the products they want.
They also need to make use of what they can to promote their strategies.
For instance, the power of email marketing coupled with AI-backed personalization that leads to promotional offers that are so appealing they can’t be turned down.
Only in doing so can they ensure that the next time the holidays come around, they’ll have what they need to make sale after sale.
About the author: Zhanar is a content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency based in NYC that offers eCommerce development solutions. She writes on a variety of subjects, but specializes in consumer behavior and its implications on marketing strategies.