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Selling Season 2018: 165 Million Americans Buy into the Holidays

Selling Season 2018: 165 Million Americans Buy into the Holidays

A staggering 165 million Americans have shopped either in stores or online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday 2018, setting US online retail sales on course for over $65 Billion in December. The five-day shopping-intensive period surpassed the 164 million who had said they would shop in a consumer sentiment survey led by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, conducted ahead of the holiday.

Cyberweek 2018 InfographicAccording to NRF, the most popular day to shop online was Cyber Monday, with more than 67.4 million shoppers participating. A close second was Black Friday with 65.2 million shoppers. By contrast, the most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday with more than 67 million shoppers. Small Business Saturday had over 47.4 million shoppers. Three market trends stood out from the US market’s most vibrant Holiday Season performance:

1) Online shopping hit an all-time high in 2018:
Top shopping destinations during the weekend included department stores (42 percent), online retailers (38 percent), apparel stores (30 percent), grocery stores (30 percent), discount stores (29 percent) and electronics stores (27 percent).

2) Mobile shopping was the most significant market indicator
Mobile transactions soared. Over half of Cyber Monday visits — 54.3 percent — came from mobile devices, a year-over-year increase of 55.6 percent. About 66 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday decisions, up from 63 percent last year.

3) Marketplaces have been a key influencer in the Holiday Season 2018
The 2018 Holiday Season appears support the Gartner study reveals that over 60% of online sellers will list their products on marketplaces or sell third party products on their core commerce sites by 2020. For its part, Amazon issued a statement saying it sold more items on Cyber Monday than any other day in its history including Prime Day 2018.

The Biggest Thanksgiving Week Ever
The Total sales from November 1 to November 26, 2017, revenue reached $58.52 billion.

For those same dates in 2017, revenue reached $50.1 billion. According to Deloitte, 50% of this year’s holiday shoppers now say they prefer online shopping to brick-and-mortar, with just 36% saying the opposite. Roughly 55% of shoppers told Deloitte they’ll be shopping online this year, with 44% going to discount stores and 28% going to department stores. The multichannel shopper spent $82 more on average than the online-only shopper, and $49 more on average than those shoppers who only shopped in stores. American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours over the Holiday Season. Adobe Analytics gave us these statistics from a survey measuring transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers:

Thanksgiving Day
Online spending on Thanksgiving 2018 hit $3.7 billion, representing 27.9 growth year-over-year, outpacing 2017’s 18.3 percent growth rate. Thanksgiving 2018 featured the highest growth rate since 2014. The Adobe study noted a change of strategy among retailers who for the first time charged the same prices on Thanksgiving Day as they did on Black Friday. Average order values were up by 8.0 percent over Thanksgiving Day 2017.

Black Friday
Online sales on Black Friday soared 23.6 percent from a year ago, to $6.2 billion. Over $2 billion of these revenues came from smartphones with 33.5 percent of total sales. In 2017, mobile sales accounted for 29 percent last year. Average order value was $146, an increase of 8.5 percent over 2017. Small Business Saturday, November 24 saw $3.02 billion in sales, a 25.5% YoY increase from last year. Together, Friday and Saturday came out to be the biggest online shopping weekend in US history, reaching a grand total of $6.4 billion

Cyber Monday
The biggest sales day of the year was Cyber Monday with online revenues of $7.9 billion, an increase of 19.3 percent over 2017. Amazon issued a statement saying it sold more items on Cyber Monday than any other day in its history including Prime Day 2018, although it didn’t provide specific sales figures.

A View of the Horizon
A lot has changed for the Holiday Season in a short 12 months. The yesteryear frenzy of Black Friday brick-and-mortar shopping has waned. People no longer line up outside stores in the early morning to be the first inside. Here are the key trends we have noticed:

The National Retail Federation reported that more than 174 million Americans shopped from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, which beat the association’s pre-holiday prediction that 164 million consumers would indulge. The 174 million Americans who shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday spent an average of $335 per person during that five-day period.

Retail is transforming powerfully to combine physical and digital experiences. STORES magazine editor, Susan Reda says retail is reengineering itself, blending physical and digital experiences. Online sellers are to figure out brick-and-mortar retail stores, while traditional retailers are leveraging their stores with an online presence. Whether it was the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods or the Walmart acquisition of online clothes retailer Bonobos retail is bridging the digital divide.

Customers across the US are making more purchase decisions online than ever before. And customers across the US are making more purchase decisions online than ever before. The biggest spenders, millennials aged 24 to 35, paid out an average of $419.52 per person. About 58 million people shopped online only, while 51 million shopped exclusively in stores. The remaining 65 million consumers shopped both online and in store, meaning 116 million Americans left home to spend time and money in brick-and-mortar retailers.

Mobile is how more and more people are buying. It’s important for merchants to make it an uncomplicated experience. People are content to shop online on Thanksgiving from their smartphones. Interestingly, many customers wanted to pick up their purchases in stores on Black Friday. A Mobile First Marketplace operator is in the business of enabling interactions. As the world becomes more connected, mobile first marketplaces tap into these connections and turn them into effective business models through value exchange and creation.

Retailers this year employed user contributed content extensively, with deep investments in top notch customer service and brand-building relationships. Through first-hand stories and experiences, User Contributed Content builds intimacy with your target audience, and the results will have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Your customers today expect an Amazon-like experience, so keeping the user experience fresh and including modern user contributed features keep up with expectations. Marketplaces are changing the world by connecting buyers and sellers at a global scale. Once you’ve created a great marketplace with a vibrant ecosystem, you go beyond the traditional retail model to create a top notch customer experience and responsiveness. Build your own marketplace and capitalize on the very model that makes them a threat in the first place.

It’s becoming clear that Ecommerce is driving more and more of the holiday sales growth and that those retailers willing to think big are being rewarded for their innovation. The leaders who have adopted the marketplace model, truly unified their in-store and online experiences, and responded to their users desire for more relevant, personalized content are set up for future domination. For the rest…the race is on!

McFadyen’s ecommerce and marketplace solutions can help you quickly deploy a robust Mirakl marketplace with an increased catalog, better customer insights, and easy drop-shipping /fulfillment by third parties. If you would like to learn more about McFadyen’s digital commerce solutions, write to us at info@mcfadyen.com or connect with us on Twitter @McFadyenDigital.





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