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Online Holiday Sales Climb, Get Mobile Boost

‘Green Monday’ season’s third-biggest online shopping day

December 20, 2013 | B2B | Retail & Ecommerce

Digital commerce—and especially mobile—has been a bright spot for retailers this holiday season, even after brick-and-mortar sales during the Black Friday weekend came in as somewhat disappointing.

comScore reported retail ecommerce sales were up for every major shopping period since November, including a 34% increase for the Thanksgiving weekend and a 10% bump that made “Green Monday” the year's No. 3 shopping day on digital channels.

Overall, for the period beginning November 1 and ending December 9, digital retail sales were up 9%, according to the data.

US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce, by Shopping Period, 2012 & 2013 (billions and % change*)

Adobe similarly reported that online retail holiday sales were up 18% on Thanksgiving, a whopping 39% on Black Friday and 16% on Cyber Monday.

IBM reported that average order values and items per order were up for Thanksgiving and Black Friday as well, though Cyber Monday’s average order values fell slightly despite a rise in items per order.

US Thanksgiving*, Black Friday** and Cyber Monday*** Average Retail Transaction Value, 2013

Findings from Monetate agreed directionally, but not on the magnitude of the change. The firm reported an 18.28% increase in average order values for Black Friday, with a 13.51% increase in average order value for the five-day period beginning on Thanksgiving and ending Cyber Monday.

eMarketer predicted in September that holiday season retail ecommerce sales would be up 15.1% this year, including all digital sales made during November and December. comScore’s findings suggest that figure may be hard to reach, but the research firm excludes mobile purchases from its numbers. With reports indicating mobile makes up an ever-greater share of holiday spending, a bigger boost may be in store.

Based on data from Cyber Monday, which is more indicative of the overall holiday shopping season than Thanksgiving or Black Friday, when many shoppers are at home and more likely to be using mobile devices, eMarketer expects somewhere in the neighborhood of 18% to 20% of holiday season sales to occur on mobile devices. This is higher than the average throughout the year, but lower than performance on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, when mobile tended to represent north of 20% and closer to 25% of all retail ecommerce sales.

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