Shoppers transformed the Christmas holiday shopping season. This year, shoppers took control of their shopping destiny, choosing to avoid the stress and inconvenience associated with the season and instead shopped on their terms. And where did they shop? That’s easy – wherever they wanted.
In All Wrapped Up, we share the findings from an analysis of the shopping season. Here are some highlights:
The digital shopping season pulled forward. Gone are the days when shoppers need to wait until Monday to score digital deals. Instead, digital shopping soared on a traditional in-store day, Black Friday, where orders were up 53% online, compared with analyst estimates of flat growth of in-store sales. Combined with a strong Cyber Monday, the first week of the shopping season represented 38% of the entire season’s sales, up from 34% in 2014. Moreover, the two biggest peak days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, represented half of those Cyber Week sales.
There were lulls in the season, too. The week following Cyber Week, order growth was up only 12% year-over-year, indicating some shopping fatigue. To no one’s surprise, mobile was huge this season. Remarkably, though, the metrics shifted quite dramatically. By the end of the season, we saw three straight days of more than 50% mobile traffic share, Christmas Eve (50%), Christmas Day (53%) and Boxing Day (53% again). Mobile orders were the real story, though, as order share for the entire season rose to 24% from 16% in 2014.
The shopping cart also played a leading role in this season’s growth. Shoppers created 31% more carts this year, and on mobile the number of carts doubled. Together, the mobile cart is the shopper’s wish list, powering anywhere shopping. With these changes, retailers must change their approach to the peak shopping season (and their shoppers!):
Go Mobile or Go Home: Mobile traffic passed 50% on a number of days, and was the number one traffic driver on some of the biggest shopping days. Boring mobile experiences that simply translate the computer screen to a smaller device are simply not good enough, as many shoppers will experience a brand for the first time on their phone. Providing smart product findability tools like saving recent searches, guided selling and providing easy cart access will help retailers engage mobile shoppers.
Be Ready for a Fast Start…and Provide Peace of Mind: Many shoppers made quick work of their shopping lists, with over one-third of all orders in before December. If shoppers hesitate, pondering “is this the best deal for me?,” retailers risk attrition. Win shoppers by providing peace of mind that the deal offered in the moment is best.
Carpe Cart: The most important commerce technology may in fact be the shopping cart. Retailers must persist carts and ensure easy mobility of carts – from device to device – to allow shoppers to buy anywhere. Marketers play an increasingly relevant role to commerce, as tools like email marketing and retargeting can help intermediate devices and conveniently provide shopping cart access. For more insights and details, read our Christmas Holiday recap report All Wrapped Up.
All Wrapped Up and these reported values are not indicative of Demandware’s operational performance or its reported financial metrics, including GMV growth and comparable GMV growth. For the analysis, we define the season as Tuesday November 24th to Saturday December 26th.