2017 Holiday Season Shopping Wrap-Up

Performance

The holiday shopping season is almost over, and as the holidays come to an end, let’s take a look at some of the numbers from the biggest days of the 2017 season: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

While looking at e-commerce metrics might seem like a nuance to most, it’s the story behind the numbers that we’re really looking at. Adobe Digital Insights has put together a great interactive site, which allows you to explore the numbers from 2016 & 2017.

Why is it important to take a look at these numbers when the season is already ending? The fact of the matter is that information like this can help you prepare for the 2018 season, and every advantage you have going into the next year can translate into more money in your pocket.

Black Friday

Let’s start with the most notorious shopping day of them all, Black Friday. Even though it originally started as an American “tradition” occurring the day after Thanksgiving, retailers have taken it upon themselves to spread the Black Friday fever across the world. As this shopping “tradition” continues to spread, it only makes sense to prepare for what may be the biggest sales day of the year for your e-commerce site.

In the United States, online sales rose about 16-18% from last year’s numbers*. This resulted in American shoppers spending $5 billion during the shopping “holiday”, up from the $3.34 billion spent last year*.

While this is certainly impressive, and while a good amount of it takes place in brick and mortar stores, one thing to remember is that people are slowly migrating online for Black Friday deals. Shopping online gives the consumer more choices and also empowers the consumer by allowing them to stay at home and shop while lounging on the couch and sipping hot cocoa.

However, what you probably heard of this year was how sales skyrocketed in the UK. According to the BBC,  £1.4 billion was spent online during Black Friday, which is up 11.7% from 2016**.

The most interesting fact about Black Friday in the UK is that retail stores recorded a staggering 3.6% decrease in foot traffic from 2016**. This just further gives more credibility to the trend that just about everyone knows: people don’t want to go out and physically go through the shopping process on Black Friday.

Customers would rather shop from the comfort of their couches than brave the crowds in stores

Black Friday has been inching its way online slowly, however in the past two years, online shopping has really exploded on this day. Consumers are sick of having to wait in lines (just to get into the store), searching and racing to find products in stores before they’re sold out and then waiting in line to checkout. Then we have to factor in packed parking lots, crammed roads around shopping centers and the “x-factor”: the weather.

Cyber Monday

Now it’s time to turn our attention to the fastest growing shopping day, actually, not the fastest growing shopping day, it was the biggest shopping day in history: Cyber Monday 2017.

Cyber Monday brought in a total revenue of $6.59 billion, according to Adobe Digital Insights. This resulted in a YOY Growth of 16.8%***. But what does this mean for you and your site?

Courtesy: Adobe Digital Insights 2017

When analyzing the data, it’s important that you don’t become awe-struck by the sheer amount of money being spent, but to look at what people are using to spend that money and how to optimize your site to take advantage of it.

For instance, when we look at the Adobe Digital Insights Report, we notice that Desktop users accounted for $33.7 billion in sales, smartphone users $11.2 billion and tablet users $5.1 billion*** respectively. Is your site equipped to handle users who use different devices? The goal for 2018 should be to accommodate as many users and set-ups as possible in order to capture as much revenue as you can.

Courtesy: Adobe Digital Insights 2017

How do I test to make sure my site is working for the next season?

Preparing is 90% of the battle in the case of online sales. The most obvious way to prepare your site for the blast of customers that will (hopefully) hit your site is to find a reliable testing partner to help you do this.

Preparation should include testing all of the most important parts of your website, because testing every single feature would prove to be costly and a waste of time. Focus your efforts on where it matters the most for your customers and in the checkout process.

To find out what you should specifically test, check out what our experts say here!

However, you might be thinking that it’s a waste of time to implement changes to your site when the next big test is almost a year away. Remember in school how you or your friend always said you would finish your project early so you didn’t have to worry about it while you were taking tests in other classes? Remember how horrible it was trying to finish that project two days before the deadline because you procrastinated and never actually did it? This is same situation, but better, because there are days when you can test your site for free, with real users!

Shopping is slowly migrating online; this doesn’t just include Black Friday or Cyber Monday, although they are the respective king and queen of online shopping days. For example, on Single’s Day (11/11) Alibaba took in $17.8 billion in gross sales****. While your site might not gather this kind of attention, promoting sales on holidays like Single’s Day, Valentine’s Day or even St. Patrick’s Day can give you an idea of how your site might perform during the final exam on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

We recommend that you take advantage of what’s left of the holiday shopping season and implement changes ASAP. Preparing for next year won’t only bring benefits in a year, but instantly as you will have more satisfied customers, which usually results in more loyal customers.

 

Sources:

*https://tamebay.com/2017/11/early-black-friday-2017-us-and-uk-numbers.html

**http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42143842

***https://landing.adobe.com/en/na/solutions/digital-index/ctir-2840-holiday-predictions-2017/

****https://www.forbes.com/sites/nikkibaird/2017/10/31/us-retailers-should-embrace-singles-day-over-black-friday/#1d8bb5363c8f

 

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