6 Takeaways From the 2017 Holiday Season

Black Friday and Cyber Monday launched us into a holiday shopping season that broke records. Bringing us the largest increase in sales since 2010, it’s clear that this year’s holiday shoppers were eager to snag new products and deals. And fortunately, these high sales have revealed an abundance of data about holiday shopping trends. Keep reading to see 5 of this year’s top holiday trends that will shape the retail sphere in 2018.

1. Mobile Shopping is Taking Off

While online shopping as a whole increased this holiday season, mobile shopping in particular took off unlike ever before. For the first time, computers generated less than half of all online orders, and purchases from smartphones made up 42% of all online orders. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, now’s the time to do so- mobile phones are quickly becoming the preferred way to shop online.

2. Customers Like to Buy Online, But Don’t Like Shipping Costs

Many online shoppers expect to have free shipping, and the absence of it can even cause shoppers to abandon their shopping carts. This year, 72% of people planned to take advantage of free shipping over the holidays, and Amazon Prime memberships, which offer a cheaper path to 2-day shipping, surged to new levels.

Since offering free shipping can be an unreasonable expense for merchants, a great alternative is to provide an in-store pickup option for online orders. Half of all shoppers chose to order online and pickup in-store this holiday season, which is a 44% increase since last year.

3. In-Store Shopping Still Has its Place

Although store closures abound, there’s no need to dismay. The majority of people shopped both in-store and online, and 51 million people shopped only in-store over the holidays. While online shopping continues to grow in popularity, it’s clear that many customers prefer the in-store experience, and its inherent lack of shipping time and fees.

4. Mobile Payments Aren’t Making Much Progress

We’re all waiting for the moment when we finally see an uptick in mobile payments, but it’s not here yet. Mobile payments only made up of 1% of sales on Black Friday, a negligible 0.6% increase since last year. It’s clear that customers enjoy shopping from their mobile devices, but they aren’t sold on the benefits of making payments from mobile apps.

5. Amazon is Posing a Bigger Threat to E-commerce

Amazon has had a good year, to say the least. It’s holiday sales broke new records, and Cyber Monday brought the company more sales in one day than ever before. Amazon Prime trials and memberships grew by 4 million within one week during holiday season, and use of the Amazon app grew by 70%. Plus, Amazon devices like the Echo Dot were bestsellers across the site. It’s now more important than ever to consider the ways that your online shop can provide unique value that can’t be found elsewhere.

6. Online Holiday Card Fraud Dropped Since Last Year

Merchants are getting even savvier with preventing card-not-present fraud. Despite the usual increase in fraudulent attempts during the holiday season, as well as this year’s recurring data breaches, online credit card fraud dropped for the first time in several years. This is promising news for merchants who process card-not-present transactions.

 

A strong holiday shopping season, spurred on by a stronger economy and successful retail marketing efforts, will hopefully usher in a year of continued growth. We hope that knowing these key trends will help you to come out ahead.