Holiday Spending Trends Affecting Online Retailers

Holiday Spending Trends Affecting Online Retailers

Today’s 24/7 Internet-shopping cycle has reduced stores’ traditional foot traffic to achieve seasonal success. In 2015, four of five smartphone owners used those mobile tools for holiday purchases. Deloitte predicts e-commerce growth during the 2016 gift-buying period to climb 17 to 19 percent, topping out at $96-$98 billion. It expects digital device interactions on web-enabled phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers to influence $661 billion or 67 percent of sales at physical locations.

NetElixir forecasts a more conservative 10.5 to 11 percent uptick for web-based purchases. But it projects a more sizable mobile-shopping surge with consumers making over 35 percent of final-click conversions on smartphones. Other research estimates online sales for Thanksgiving Day to hit $2.07 billion with $3.08 billion on Black Friday. Consider major trends below to gain your share of 2016’s competitive seasonal dollars.

Major Shopping Day Statistics

Although Black Friday launches America’s annual gift-shopping season traditionally, consumer attitudes and purchasing patterns are shifting. August 2016 research of 1054 consumers found that:

  • 11 percent or one of 10 feels Black Friday’s importance has grown while 42 percent or four of 10 view it as declined from five years ago.
  • 33 percent or one of 3 considers Cyber Monday more significant today than five years ago.
  • 58 percent or six of 10 state that Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday specials don’t influence their shopping behaviors.

Representing ages 18 to 29, coveted millennial shoppers’ habits vary from other generations. Findings include:

  • Seeing holiday merchandise in stores before Halloween bothers 51 percent of younger millennials vs. 63 percent of all respondents.
  • Black Friday promotions and Cyber Monday bargains encourage 60 percent of millennials to shop on those days.
  • 52 percent of the digital generation thinks Cyber Monday has become more important today than five years ago.

YouTube Video Gift Guides

Almost seven in 10 consumers begin holiday shopping with indecision or consider multiple possibilities for presents. Buyers who used to peek in store windows or flip through catalogs turn to the web’s visually rich videos instead. People browse YouTube for popular gift guides dispensing advice on various options, often endorsing favorites.

Some 70 percent of viewers spent 390,000,000 hours watching 2015 videos on mobile devices. Such recommendations influenced orders for 68 percent of patrons selecting smartphones and 64 percent of those choosing home and garden goods.

Quest to Give the Best

When today’s shoppers settle on gift ideas, the staggering numbers of online alternatives can be overwhelming. Want a scarf for Grandma? Amazon carries about 225,000! Picking just one can cause stress, unhappiness, and purchasing paralysis. Could that dilemma be why almost 70 percent of people exchanging presents in 2015 received gift cards?

Determined consumers narrow down excess offerings. Mobile users Googling best options in popular categories have escalated above 50 percent during the past year. Depending on online product reviews ranked as a top-three action while gift shopping via portable devices rose substantially from the two prior seasons. Simplifying visitors’ quests to pinpoint your preferred items is a time saver they’ll appreciate.

In-Store Mobile Searches

Customers value touching actual merchandise in stores while tapping screens for more information simultaneously. Inside retail spaces, mobile searches have jumped over 30 percent. Visitors even make purchases on portable platforms in aisles. Some 43 percent of handheld users have bought consumer electronics on their smartphones while perusing tangible product displays. The convenience of frictionless shopping on mobile devices makes buying items from anywhere a smooth and easy experience.

Free Shipping

Shoppers used free-shipping promotions more than discounts or coupons in the previous holiday season, rating overall value above lower-priced products. A survey found that 91 percent of respondents would consider increasing Internet purchasing totals to be eligible for no-cost deliveries. Some 89 percent ranked a 5- to 10-day wait for order arrivals as acceptable to reduce freight charges. Roughly 77 percent were likely to post comments on social media platforms, so this perk may encourage positive feedback.

Reliable Payment Methods

Nearly 70 percent of consumers deem access to varied payment types as important. E-Complish offers a trio of programs for ecommerce credit-card processing, streamlining online purchases with automated speed. For portable shopping convenience, integrate any of our three popular mobile merchant services into your current remittance procedures. Combine these customizable software solutions to optimize your holiday and year-round transactions with the utmost efficiency and full PCI compliance.