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Holiday Update: Shoppers Burning Up The Web

Online seasonal sales have topped a record $80 billion, Adobe reports.

We’re still in the first week of December, yet Holiday 2018 is already proving to be the biggest online shopping period in U.S. retail history.

According to Adobe Analytics, online sales have hit a record $80.3 billion between Nov. 1 and Dec. 6, an 18.6 percent increase year over year.

The Adobe division, which tracks 55 million SKUs and more than 1 trillion e-tail visits, sees mobile shopping and buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) as the big winners this season, with handheld transactions up 54.8 percent to $23.7 billion, and BOPIS orders ahead 46 percent for the roughly five-week period.

See: BOPIS Best Practices

“Retailers are reaping the rewards of their investments in mobile and have seen unprecedented success in converting mobile traffic to sales,” said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights. “Holiday shoppers have relied heavily on their mobile devices,” making this the first holiday season that more than half of all online traffic (57.6 percent) originated from handhelds.

Among Adobe’s other mid-season findings:

  • One-fifth of U.S. shoppers plan to do more than three quarters of their online holiday shopping at big online retailers like Amazon and eBay, up 25 percent over last year, while social media platforms continue to have minimal impact on sales, at a 1.5 percent share.
  • Out-of-stock messages are trending up, reaching 2.2 percent of product page visits so far this season. “This cost retailers up to $1.9 billion in potential sales and underscores an opportunity for retailers to further optimize their inventory management to deliver better endless aisle experiences,” Adobe said.
  • Top tech sellers include Dell and Lenovo laptops; LG and Samsung TVs; Roku, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices; Nintendo Switch; and Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War video games.
  • Direct website traffic ranked highest for driving revenue with a 27 percent share of sales (up 1.1 percent from last year), followed by paid search at 24.4 percent (up 4.9 percent), natural search at 20.7 percent (down 4.3 percent), and email at 20.3 percent (up 1.6 percent).