With unseasonably warm weather throughout North America, pundits wondered about the potential negative impact the weather could have on the peak shopping season. Warmer weather could soften demand for items like outerwear and heavy knits. It is hard to say whether weather is constraining growth. One trend is clear, though; in this digital-first shopping season fashion retailers are thriving.

Globally, fashion sites, including active, luxury and general apparel, are seeing order growth of 36% year over year. Shoppers in the US drove orders up 42% and UK shoppers placed 36% more orders. (The comparative time period covers 18 days of shopping, beginning Tuesday prior to American Thanksgiving, and running through the 3rd Friday after.)

“Black Friday is fast becoming a key part of the retail calendar,” says Andy Harding, Chief Customer Officer at House of Fraser. “Our offers started online at 5pm on Wednesday and ran until Sunday. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Just on Black Friday, we received over one week’s worth of orders and saw a significant uplift over Black Friday 2014, with over 120 orders per minute through our website, and we recorded our biggest ever online sales beating last year’s Black Friday event.”

The role of mobile continues to be a story line this year, especially in apparel. Interestingly, after a peak week where mobile traffic to apparel sites beat all other devices, the visit share from phones has come back to earth. Sort of.

Phone traffic on apparel sites peaked globally at 50% on American Thanksgiving and remained strong through Black Friday and the following weekend. Once the weekdays came, including Cyber Monday, phone traffic settled to about 42% of traffic. This trend has continued through the peak season. On weekends, traffic from phones swells to 47% share, with the US at 48% and UK at 50%.

On weekdays, phone share dips to 42% – 45% in the US and 47% in the UK. It is worth noting that tablets are carrying less and less of the load – in the US and France, tablet share has dipped into single digits, and Germany is not far behind.

German shopping is a bit more anchored to tablets and computers, with 36% of traffic on phones. And, while US and UK shoppers are quite likely to order on phones (23% and 29% share respectively), shoppers in other markets are still making the shift; 17% of orders to French apparel sites are placed on phones, compared to 20% in Canada and 18% in Germany.

As the peak season continues and shoppers spend more time away from computers while on holiday/vacation, we expect mobile’s share of visits and transactions to continue gain.

 

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 over the course of the first 18 days of the shopping, beginning Tuesday prior to American Thanksgiving, and running through the 3rd Friday after, 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.