Holiday Shopping Trends in 2015
The most connected holiday shopping season ever. Shoppers reported spending more time researching and purchasing online than they did in years past.
78% used the internet for holiday research last year.
40% of holiday shopping occured online
A lot of money was spent through mobile phones like smartphone, iPhone etc.Last year nearly one trillion (28%) of all retail sales were influenced by shopping related mobile searches. 53% of those who shopped online used smartphones or tablets, up from 41% of previous year.
Holiday shopping began long before Black Friday. Rather than wait for a single sale day people started shopping before halloween, and nearly half did most of their shopping on or prior to Cyber Monday.
48% of holiday shoppers said they did the majority of their shopping on or before Cyber Monday, up from 40% in 2013. One Quarter said that had done some holiday shopping before halloween.
Consumers were open to change ofetn looking to new stores and brands for theirholiday purchases. Over a half of responders were open to buying from a new retailer. 41% actually purchased from a new retailer, up significantly from 2013.
Holiday shoppers turned to Youtube videos. Peers were the biggest influencers in video. Their reviews held more sway than those from experts.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for retailers! But is your ecommerce store ready for an increase in traffic and demand from mobile devices? And how can you add an extra personal touch to your customers’ holiday shopping experience?
To help you stay ahead of the trends that could impact your online sales this year, I’ve put together a list of what some industry experts are recommending for the 2015 holiday shopping season.
Make sure to check it twice to ensure your business ends up on your customers’ nice versus naughty list.
1. Capitalize on the Growth of Mobile Sales
Overall, 2015 will be a strong year for holiday retail sales. In fact, a recent eMarketer article reveals that
“the months of November and December 2015 will increase 5.7% year over year, reaching $885.70 billion. That’s an upward adjustment from the 3.2% growth rate predicted earlier this year—and the highest since the 6.3% rise in 2011.”
IMAGE VIA EMARKETER
As the chart above indicates, ecommerce sales (as a percentage of overall retail sales) are expected to remain flat at 14% this year. But the big news, according to eMarketer, is that 2015 mobile holiday transactions will rise 32% year over year – more than double the ecommerce prediction.
Likewise, eMarketer data indicates that smartphones will be the most popular way to shop via mobile
“as consumers become more comfortable buying on their phones—which, on average, have larger screens than those released just a few years ago…and by the end of 2016, 25.0% of all retail ecommerce sales in the U.S. will take place via mobile devices.”
IMAGE VIA EMARKETER
To stay ahead of this trend – not only for the holidays but into 2016 and beyond – it’s important to have a website that customers can access on any mobile device of their choosing. Likewise, the experience on each device should be as easy to use and view as via a desktop browser.
So, if you don’t already have a mobile responsive website, it’s time to start building one because themes are optimized for any screen layout or resolution.
2. The 2015 Holiday Season Is Prime Time to Test Social Commerce
Over the past year, many social networks, including: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube have begun introducing “buy” buttons that make it easier for consumers to purchase directly from these platforms – on any device.
With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start testing out social buy buttons because activity on social networks is expected to increase significantly online – especially during heavy purchasing days like Cyber Monday. And since you likely already use social media to engage with your customers, you can now sell in real-time as you interact with them online.
In case you weren’t aware, Shopify has recently inked deals with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to allow merchants to begin using buy buttons. So, you can now help your customers to discover and buy your products without ever having to leave their favourite social networks.
Everything that you need to publish your products, accept orders, and manage your business on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is provided by Shopify.
To add the buy buttons to your ecommerce store, visit the “sales channels” section within your Shopify account settings and simply click “add channel.”
To help you develop your social buy buttons strategy, here’s a handy infographic that breaks down the sales impact from each social network.
3. High Volume Shopping Days Will Increase Demand on Your Website and Inventory
From Black Friday, to Cyber Monday, Green Monday and Boxing Day in Canada, there are a lot of days leading up to Christmas where consumers will be shopping for deals online.
As the chart below from IBM Digital Analytics indicates, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest online shopping days leading up to the holidays in 2014. In addition, IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark Data shows that “Cyber Monday had the strongest shopper engagement with the longest average session length, highest new visitor conversion and lowest bounce rate” for U.S. retailers last year.