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15 Holiday Retail Stats That Every Marketer Needs to See

Mobile's huge year marches on

Smartphones and tablets are going to be holiday sales drivers.

If you see family members tapping away at their smartphones or tablets during Thanksgiving dinner, they could easily be sneaking in their first holiday purchases.

Mobile will account for 31 percent of online sales on Turkey Day, compared to 21 percent in 2013, according to an Adobe holidays shopping forecast released today. Those numbers represent a nearly 48 percent year-over-year increase, and they build on 2014's biggest digital marketing trend: Retailers can no longer ignore mobile as an overhyped channel.

Smartphones and tablets will account for $1.6 billion in sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, said Adobe, which predicted that those three days would generate roughly $6.5 billion in sales across mobile devices and desktops. 

"We may be too low with [the mobile numbers]," said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Index. "The reason why is the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus weren't factored into our research."

Gaffney's team also found that 18 percent of mobile marketers plan to use iBeacon technology to target consumers. "We expect that to double next year," she said. 

Adobe processed its wealth of aggregated, anonymous data in its third annual holiday retail report, which uses predictive analytics. The Mountain View, Calif.-based software giant looked at more than a trillion visits on 4,500 retail websites from the past six years—as well as 20 billion visits from last month—to come to its findings.

In addition to the six data points above, here are nine more of Adobe's stats that should interest not only marketers but shoppers, too. And beware if you are one of those folks who hates Thanksgiving becoming a day for buying gifts.

  • Digital holiday shopping will lift 10 percent year over year, and the average consumer will cough up $248 online during all of November and December, with $8 spent on Cyber Monday.
  • According to Adobe's survey of more than 400 U.S. consumers, 25 percent of them will consult social media before buying gift, while 40 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are likely to use social networks for gift ideas.
  • Online prices will hit rock bottom on Thanksgiving, lower than during any other 24-hour period in the holiday season. The average discount will be 24 percent.
  • Thanksgiving online sales will hit $1.35 billion, a record for that holiday, per Adobe, and a 27 percent lift compared to 2013.
  • Black Friday will be the fastest-growing digital sales day in 2014 at $2.48 billion, a year-over-year increase of 28 percent.
  • Cyber Monday's sales forecast calls for $2.6 billion, an increase of 15 percent compared to last year.
  • November and December are expected to account for roughly 27 percent of the total U.S. annual online sales.
  • A 5 percent drop in gift prices will occur between the Sunday and Monday before Thanksgiving, marking the biggest single-day discount dip for the holidays.
  • There will be 5 times as many out-of-stock messages on Cyber Monday compared to usual.
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