Each year, we take a look back to see how the previous year transpired, and to provide a resource to help retailers and brands plan for the year ahead. We’ll remember 2016 for a number of milestones that set the stage for the next generation of digital commerce.

2016 was the first mobile-first year
Early in 2016, we saw mobile traffic share edge past computers. Phones extended their advantage throughout the year, passing 50% of all traffic in August. By the end of the year, traffic on phone was more than 10 percentage points higher than computers. While we fully expect continued mobile migration in 2017, the pace has slowed, with Q4 traffic share actually backpedaling slightly from its peak in September. Meanwhile, traffic share from tablet fell below 10% early in 2016, and doesn’t show any signs of rebounding, with global shipments of tablets reportedly decreasing each passing quarter.

November wins!
Shopper spending soared in November 2016, thanks to the fact that much of Cyber Week landed in November. December was right behind, as per-visit shopper spend edged towards or above $3 USD for both months (note this is a per-visit, not per-order value!). Together, November and December account for 27% of sales for the entire year. For a detailed look at the Christmas/Holiday Shopping Season, download All Wrapped Up.

Seasonality in the product catalog
Product assortment certainly swells at the peak time of year, as the final two months of the year saw the highest levels of unique products sold, globally. Market-specific sale periods, like France’s Soldes in January/February and June/July, are clearly identifiable through the product seasonality curve too, where the unique number of products sold is substantially higher than the off-peak months.

Shoppers shifted the foundation of retail in 2016 – increasingly choosing to shop and engage digitally and on their mobile device.

Take a look at the interactive Year-In-Review to see more on each month’s revenue share, mobile traffic and order share, discount rate and more.