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The holiday retail season is in full swing, as shoppers gear up for the final push before Christmas. Online retailers hoping to drive conversions in the last two weeks before year-end can look to Cyber Monday for guidance on what online shoppers and buyers are doing this season.
comScore released post-Cyber Monday findings showing that ecommerce sales on the biggest online shopping day of the year grew by 17% over the same day in 2011, to $1.47 billion. This pace is in line with eMarketer’s prediction in September that retail ecommerce sales for the holiday season as a whole would rise 16.8% over 2011, to ultimately reach $54.47 billion, or nearly a quarter (24.3%) of the $224.2 billion in US retail ecommerce sales forecast for all of 2012.
Helping to drive that increased spending are a number of key ecommerce trends. Unsurprisingly, mcommerce is an ever-bigger part of the shopping equation for holiday buyers trying to maximize convenience and minimize in-store shopping distress.
Data released by Monetate at the end of November found that tablets and smartphones took an increased share of Cyber Monday web traffic this year: 14%, double 2011’s 7% share.
Tablets especially are devices retailers are becoming hard-pressed to ignore. While traditional ecommerce Cyber Monday conversion rates declined since 2011—a trend noteworthy in itself—tablet conversions grew slightly, according to the digital tracking company. Those online retailers investing in rich and detailed tablet-optimized sites are likely helping drive purchases through the channel.
Further IBM data from the major holiday shopping weekend indicated that online retailers may not be doing enough in the mcommerce channel on the days surrounding Cyber Monday. Retailers focusing on the well-known online sale day shouldn’t ignore the millions of shoppers who will be logging on looking for gift ideas, deals and discounts on other days of the season. While Cyber Monday saw mcommerce conversion rates grow by 21%, on Black Friday—a day when many multichannel retailers are putting their efforts into in-store promotions—mcommerce conversions actually declined 2.16% since one year ealier.
Overall, The NPD Group found that 17% of internet users shopped online on Cyber Monday—not a significant bump over 2011’s 16%—but 58% of those actually purchased, a significant rise over the 47% who purchased in 2011. Once online retailers get shoppers’ attention, they are making a strong case for themselves.
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