A Fresh Perspective on Holiday Shopping Trends
Another Strong Year for Online Holiday Shopping Growth
2012 marked another strong season for ecommerce retail. Consumers continued to shop online in ever-increasing numbers. Pulse results reflected a YTD year-over-year (YoY) sales growth of 15.2% - consistent with most industry predictions. For the season overall (Oct 29th to Dec 25th), transaction growth was up 24.3% YoY, sales growth was 15.2% YoY, while average ticket (number) continued its decline by 7.3% YoY.
As we review results from the full season, here are some of the leading trends:
- Cyber Monday morphs into Cyber Week:
For the period Friday, Nov. 23 (Black Friday) through Friday, Nov. 30, Pulse showed YoY sales increased by 22.5% and transactions increased by 32.7% potentially powered by online retailers providing additional incentives on the days following Cyber Monday.
- Green Monday kicked off the busiest week of the season: In terms of total transaction volume, Pulse shows that the period from Dec 10th (Green Monday) to Sunday, Dec 16th was the busiest seven-day period of the holiday shopping season, with YoY transaction up 16.6%.
- Consumer’s increasing use of mobile devices: in 2012 the ‘Showrooming’ phenomenon went mainstream as consumers used their mobile devices to research items they saw in-store, but then purchased online.
- Merchants extending offers beyond traditional sales days: Heavy promotional activity from merchants during the holiday season was especially evident this year, with merchants attracting more online shoppers with email, online coupons, and discounts. To illustrate this, Pulse data for the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday reflected an average sales growth of 38.3% YoY.
- Continued decline of Average Ticket Price: Average Ticket Price continues to trend downward with year-to-date overall season results down 7.3% driven in part by additional free shipping offers from merchants and continued customer demand for low ticket digital content.
These trends plus the combination of the extended shopping season and consumer ability to shop online up until the Saturday before Christmas have ensured most online merchants a strong and successful 2012 season.
What the Experts are Saying
"As expected, web retailers received a great gift from Santa this holiday season in the form of strong double-digit year over year sales. In spite of retailers pushing so many aggressive promotions in November, the eCommerce holiday figures still ended with a super finish that was significantly greater than physical store sales -- a sign that the web continues to take share away from stores during the critical Q4 timeframe."
It’s been another strong year for online holiday shopping and our latest Infographic provides an overview of the highlights and trends that made 2012 such a dynamic season.