We’ve already seen two significant shifts in the Christmas Holiday shopping season, and we’re only one week into it.
First, digital commerce is not just about Cyber Monday. Black Friday sales soared globally, up 55% over last year. Shoppers have spoken by choosing to avoid crowds and shop on their own terms. The demand curve of the holiday has smoothed, moving away from a single peak of Cyber Monday as shoppers today have far more bandwidth in their hands than on their desktops in the early days of online commerce. And, the deals were strong, as 85% of Black Friday orders shipped for free and the average order was discounted 24%.
Retailers take note, shopping has pulled forward – don’t wait until tomorrow, as your shoppers may have already moved on.
To be clear, Cyber Monday is still a big deal, but it does not represent the one big shopping day. Rather is it is one of several huge shopping days bookended by Friday and Monday. In yet another indication of the Democratization of Retail, shoppers are dictating the terms by redistributing their shopping activity and forcing retailers to adjust.
The infographic above shows how the peak shopping season has changed over the last three years.
Friday and Monday now comprise 50% of the week’s orders, up from 44% in 2013. Sales attributed to Black Friday rose from 19% to 23%, narrowing the gap with Cyber Monday. In 2014, Cyber Monday was 30% larger than Black Friday but this year, Cyber Monday was only 17% larger.
And of course, mobile played a huge role, shifting the arena of shopping activity from home and store to anywhere. Seriously, anywhere. For the first time, traffic on phones was highest, peaking on Saturday at 49% and 46% on Black Friday. And orders reached an all-time high: 29% of orders placed on Thursday were on phones (Black Friday saw 26% of orders from phones, and Cyber Monday checked in at 22%). This shift to mobile has also changed shopping patterns, as shoppers buy late in the day. Conversion rate is highest at 11pm – so those that are browsing late tended to be buyers.
And while mobile has soared, tablets continued to drop. Tablets’ share of traffic dwindled to 10% on Monday and 11% on Friday. This is the third in a series of Flash Reports on the peak shopping season. Next up, we take a look around the world to see what the start of the Shopping Season looks like.
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 week of shopping days (Wednesday through Tuesday) 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’s operational performance or its reported financial metrics, including GMV growth and comparable GMV growth.