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Category Archives: holiday shopping

A Peek Into The Future of The 2018 Ecommerce Holiday Season

 

By: Shelly Lowder

2018 Holiday Shopping Season Brings Exciting Times for E-commerce

The holiday shopping season is upon us so we wanted to give you a “peek” inside the predictions for this year’s e-commerce holiday shopping season. In 2017, Cyber Monday was another record breaker for online shopping.  According to Adobe Insights, digital transactions reached a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday. That is a 16.8 percent increase from a year ago and makes Cyber Monday the largest online shopping day in U.S. history. While the 2017 holiday e-commerce revenue climbed to $108.2 billion, an increase of 14.7 percent year over year.
 For 2018, the Deloitte Forecast is predicting e-commerce sales could reach as much as $134 billion this holiday season. This is a 17 to 22 percent increase over last year. They contribute this continued increase to “solid disposable personal income growth, which we expect will be in the 5 to 5.4 percent range”.
Consumers are looking for fast, convenient ways to shop without the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are a million things to do during the holidays in addition to gift shopping, so anything that will help make the process a little easier is more than welcome.  Let’s take a look at 5 predictions for the 2018 Holiday Season that are sure to make this season the best yet!
  1. Shoppers Start Early

The early bird gets the worm, ok well maybe not the worm but they could possibly get the best holiday gifts.  Some consumers help ease the pains of holiday shopping by starting earlier. This helps with time management as well as the budget that we all know how it can get out of hand when you feel rushed to find those last minute gifts.  Statistics show that consumers are making purchases earlier and earlier and many start as early as October. These earlier purchases are predicted to help drive record online sales for the 2018 Holiday season.
  1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday Are Top Days for Holiday Sales

According to an Adobe Digital Insights report, in 2017 Black Friday, a single day represented 4.6 percent of the total U.S. retail revenue for the holiday season. Meanwhile, Cyber Monday represented 6.1 percent of the total holiday retail sales.
Cyber Monday is a big deal for e-commerce businesses and rightfully so.  Online shopping brings convenience and less stress. The thought of fighting the crowds to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list has shoppers rethinking their gift buying strategy and waiting for Cyber Monday or for their favorite store to offer online deals. By shopping online consumers are not limited to their local stores and product selection. The possibilities are endless as with a few clicks they have access to a much wider variety of products to complete their shopping list.
In 2018, it is predicted that the period between Thanksgiving Day (November 22) and Saturday, December 1 (the end of Cyber Monday week) will represent 37 percent of the total U.S. holiday retail sales.
If you own an e-commerce store, it’s time to get your game plan together and enhance your business to drive sales during this peak season.

  1. Mobile Shopping Will Continue to Grow

Mobile shopping is another convenient way to complete your holiday shopping.  It is predicted to make up about 52% of the total for 2018. Wow – that’s a big number!  Some experts even predict a rise in mobile shopping on Thanksgiving Day so that consumers can take advantage of sales but also spend time with their family.  What better way to do that than shopping from the convenience of your phone and having gifts shipped directly to your home.
If you have an online business, it’s important to make sure your website has a 100% responsive design so that you can take advantage of all those mobile shoppers.

4. Voice Shopping On the Rise

Digital voice-driven assistants is predicted to impact U.S. e-commerce sales during the 2018 Holiday season. According to the Pew Research Center in 2017, “46 percent of Americans have used some type of digital voice-driven device”. The increase in this method is being sparked by the use of Alexa. Everyone is trying to find new ways to make the Holiday shopping season more enjoyable. The use of voice shopping makes it easy to purchase gifts with using just a few words – giving shoppers a stress-free way to shop without the hassle.

5. Consumers Expect Fast, Free Shipping

Everyone loves free shipping and many consumers wait until free shipping is offered before making a purchase. It has become the norm during the holidays that shipping is free – people expect it. According to an AlixPartners survey, free shipping can make or break a retailer, with 96% of survey respondents saying that the availability of free shipping impacts their purchase decision, and 73% said that it has a great impact on their decision.
More than 70% of shoppers decide their shipping preference before checkout, and nearly 60% of shoppers browse for products based on their preferred shipping options.  About a quarter of shoppers (26%) will buy from a retailer that offers free shipping, even if they would pay a bit less to buy the same item from another retailer that imposes shipping charges.
Not only do shoppers want free shipping, but they also want their purchases fast.  The survey revealed that the maximum delivery time the average shopper will accept has fallen to 4.5 days, down from 5.5 in 2012.  AlixPartners said that to satisfy them, retailers are scrambling to expand their networks of warehouses and distribution centers.
Managing consumers expectations of shipping and delivery is crucial to make any e-commerce business successful.
It’s an exciting time for e-commerce businesses.  The online industry is growing leaps and bounds and is showing no signs of letting up.  If you own an e-commerce store, congratulations, what a great time to be in the online space. We hope you find ways to take advantage of these predictions and they lead to a record year.
If you have always wanted to own your own online business, take a look at some of the various ready-made internet business options that Pure Ecommerce has to offer.  Don’t let a great opportunity to fulfill your dreams pass you by.

 

Cyber Monday 2017 – Smashing the Records of Years Past!

 

The holiday rush is on – The results for Cyber Monday are in and it’s is ANOTHER Record Breaking year for ecommerce!

By: Catherine Perry

Unbelievable numbers are being reported not only for Cyber Monday shopping, but also throughout the Thanksgiving weekend! I was just reading our blog for Cyber Monday 2016 and, like last year, we have record breaking numbers to talk about – yoo hoo!

Thanksgiving Weekend Ecommerce Shopping Shows Explosive Growth

Online shopping continues to grow at an explosive rate and is in high gear this holiday shopping season! According to the latest data, collected by Adobe Digital Insights at 11:47 p.m. November 27, 2017, “Cyber Monday [was] projected to hit a new record as the largest online sales day in history with $6.59 billion by the end of the day.” This number indicates that sales increased by 16.8% over the same period in 2016. Their reporting showed that Black Friday came in at $5.03 billion and Thanksgiving Day at $2.87 billion in revenue.
Based on an email from Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, an analyst for the market research firm Forrester, the Washington Post reported that sales growth from Thanksgiving through Sunday, November 26 2017 topped their growth estimate of 12 percent. And, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) as reported in the same Washington Post article, “holiday spending is expected to increase as much as 4% this year, to $680 billion.” The NRF will release final results numbers on 11/28/2017.
Adobe reports that the holiday shopping season thus far, which is November 1 – 27, has driven a total of “$50 billion in online revenue, a 16.8% increase.” They predict that this will be the “first-ever holiday season to break $100 billion in online sales!”
Wow! These numbers are incredible and great news for all of our ecommerce business owners! There has never been a better time to be in the online retail industry.

Mobile Leads Online Shopping

What is leading the online retail sales? Mobile devices are. Mobile devices set a new record, showing 47.4% of visits, with 24.1% on smartphones and 9% on tablets. Here is the breakdown:
  • Smartphone traffic grew 22.2% year-over-year
  • Smartphone revenue grew 39.2% (totaling $1.59 billion) year-over-year
  • Mobile transactions are closing at a 12% higher rate as compared to Cyber Monday 2016
  • Apple iOS leads with an average order value of $123 in comparison to Google Android at $110
Mickey Mericle, VP of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe, is quoted as saying that using smartphones to shop and buy is becoming the “new norm and can be attributed to continued optimizations in the retail experience on mobile devices and platforms.” As this trend grows, consumers are becoming more savvy and efficient in their shopping. And, of course, the millennials are a big reason for the explosive growth in shopping via mobile, “with 75% expecting to shop via their smartphone,” Mericle says.

What It Means for Ecommerce Website Owners

This means tremendous opportunity for ecommerce website owners. Consumers are shopping around looking for the best products and top-notch service, not simply the best deals. The total customer experience is what is important. Price and shipping costs are definitely under scrutiny, there is no question about it. But, it is still a wide open playing field with service and security being a huge concern for online shoppers.
Shoppers want not only fast, as well as,  smooth transactions. They want to be able to click and find the products they want to purchase in a fast, convenient way. This is why it is important to have an ecommerce business that is 100% responsive design website, that is well organized and offers online shoppers a variety of products to fit their needs. Great customer service is imperative. Online shopping has affected the expectation of the customer. This stands to reason because you’re not standing in front of someone in a store when you are shopping online, so your trust is built on the service you receive. (See www.invespcro.com’s article “The Importance of Providing a Great Customer Experience [Infographic]” for more information.)
Small business owners are in a position to give consumers the one-on-one attention they want.
This past weekend, Fortune reported that Macy’s had a “massive slow down” due to credit card and gift card processing on Black Friday. This was a setback that could hamper its sales significantly and possibly “lose the department store chain massive amounts of money at the start of the holiday shopping season.”

Be Sure Your Business is READY for the Holidays!

If you already own an ecommerce business, we strongly suggest that you have your business ready for the holiday season.  You are in an industry that is growing tremendously and you need to do the work it takes to be noticed in the online marketplace.
What can you do? For starters, be sure you keep your business in front of your target market through Social Media Marketing and keep your website optimized for the search engines. Get your home page and categories in a festive mode (see our previous post for tips). Don’t wait to prepare your ecommerce business for any season of the year. Work hard all year long to ensure customers are shopping with you!

RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Tips to Prepare Your Online Business for the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season 

Here are some tips to capitalize on this holiday season for your business:
  • Be sure your shopping cart is in good working order for a positive customer experience
  • Engage social media marketing to brand your business and advertise
  • Reach out to your consumers through emails – newsletter marketing is key to staying in front of your customers
  • Entice your customers with special offers – for example – coupons with dollar amount off when purchase a certain amount; percentage off total purchase; and of course, free shipping on orders of a certain amount
  • Optimize for the search engines
  • Tighten up your pricing and shipping costs
  • Decorate your website for the festive season so you look the part
We hope these Thanksgiving weekend numbers have excited you for the potential of online shopping this holiday season. Continue to steadily work at it and you will reap the rewards!

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