It’s official. The first few days of the peak shopping season have proven that phones are first, driving the most traffic to ecommerce sites of any device. In fact, it wasn’t even close. Here are the key findings from the first five Christmas/Holiday shopping days this year, Wednesday November 25th thru Sunday November 29th.

Growth Metrics Jump

Shoppers drove all the key activity metrics higher, starting with 23% more visits. In a strong sign of shopping intent, baskets increased 37% over the same period last year. Why are baskets so important? Not only does a basket show shopping intent, it is the omni-channel utility. The basket is a shopper’s wish list, and thanks to the rise of mobile, that wish list follows them wherever they go, including into a store. All told, digital commerce orders were up 39% year over year, a fast start to the season.

All eyes will be on Cyber Monday, which has traditionally been the biggest online shopping day of the year, to see whether shopping has pulled earlier this year.

Flash Stat: Black Friday orders were 6.1 times higher than a non-peak period (4 weeks ago), a 40% increase over last year.

Phones are First

Phones completed their rise to the top, driving 47% of all traffic, outpacing computers (41%) and tablets (12%). Further, 39% of baskets created were created on phones, which also accounted for 26% of orders. Compared to last year, visit share on phones was up 35% and order share was up 54%.

Flash stat: On Black Friday baskets created on phones more than DOUBLED year-over-year.

Peak Shopping Times

When was shopping hottest? Here were the peak hours on Black Friday:

…for orders: 9am

…for traffic: 10am

…for conversion rate: 8pm

…for phone traffic: 10am

…for phone orders: 8am

…for phone conversion rate: 11pm

Flash Stat: On Thanksgiving, phone traffic share began increasing from 5pm until midnight. #FamilyFirstThenShop.

Free Shipping Days

During the five-day period, 83% of orders shipped for free, besting last year’s mark of 78%, and peaking at 85% on Black Friday, which was up from 80% last year.

Deals on Tap

Discounts tend to rise during the Christmas/Holiday season. Last year the rate of discounting rose about 25% during the peak season. This year, the average order was discounted 22%, peaking on Black Friday at 24%. This year’s first five days of discounts was slightly higher than last year’s rate of 21%.*

With a fast start over the first five days, many are asking whether online shopping is being pulled earlier from Cyber Monday into Black Friday. Stay tuned for additional flash reports, including tomorrow’s Cyber Monday recap.

For additional data driven trends across digital commerce, read the Demandware Shopping Index.


*: Discount rate is calculated as the discount on merchandise purchased and does not include items already on markdown.

The shopping flash report provides a snapshot of digital commerce metrics, focusing on the busy Christmas/Holiday Shopping Season. The analysis reflects a comparison of digital commerce sites transacting during both last year’s and this year’s first five shopping days, across the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany. Times have been normalized to the shopper’s local time. The data presented here is not indicative of Demandware operational performance or its reported financial metrics, including GMV growth and comparable GMV growth.