Online Holiday Shopping Season Hits $126 Billion
Winning the hearts and minds of consumers during the holidays increasingly means having a digital strategy to attract and convert them. According to Adobe Analytics, consumers spent $126 billion online during the 2018 holiday season, an increase of 16.5 percent year over year. For the first time ever, smart phones drove half the traffic, amounting 31 percent of revenue (34 percent growth year over year).
The numbers do not surprise me. By early December, the holiday season was already well on its way to achieving strong results. The final numbers suggest a number of lessons for retailers:
1 Start Early to Win Online
Our own clients were working with us to start raising awareness online for their holiday sales long before the holiday shopping season began. Businesses that began building awareness for their holiday inventory via online advertising were best positioned to attract the surging traffic from shoppers going online looking for deals.
2 Respect the Power of Thanksgiving Weekend
Reports of Black Friday’s demise are exaggerated. Black Friday achieved a 23.6 percent increase in online traffic. But Black Friday is now part of a bigger five-day Thanksgiving weekend shopping extravaganza. The period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday generated 19.2 percent of all online holiday spend. In particular, Cyber Monday saw a surge of buying. A four-hour time block on Cyber Monday (7:00 pm to 11 p.m. PST) was the most active period of the year. These four hours recorded more than $2 billion in sales. Conversion rose sharply through the evening, as consumers rushed to take advantage of deals. Businesses that invested in a strong Thanksgiving Weekend digital media spend were in the driver’s seat to win, especially if they capitalized on Cyber Monday by spending on ads with strong calls to action during the waning moments of Cyber Monday.
3 Go Mobile
The increase in smartphone traffic clearly shows that businesses need strong mobile-centric advertising strategies, including investments across mobile display networks. But going mobile means more than having a mobile presence. Going mobile means:
- Promoting your app effectively. Mobile apps are now driving more revenue than ever. Having a strategy to promote your app is more important than ever.
- Formatting content for mobile viewing and including an easy conversion path on mobile.
- Using advertising tools that are optimized for mobile such as Google Showcase Shopping ads.
At the same time, it’s important to ensure that your messaging on mobile is consistent with your messaging on other channels.
Start Succeeding Now
You don’t need to wait another year to apply these lessons. They hold true with other major events that attract a surge of shopping and advertising, such as Presidents Day and Memorial Day. True Interactive can help you prepare. Contact us.
Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/holiday-shopping-smartphone-phone-1921658/Retail