As the online holiday shopping season comes to a close, we’re in the process of pulling together our final thoughts on this season. Last month, we predicted that the season would grow 15% over the previous year and by all accounts, that number should more or less be in the ballpark of what actually happened.
I worked with the great team at Bizrate Insights again this holiday season to survey online holiday shoppers and their attitudes and here were some of the highlights from that research:
- The web is cannibalizing Black Friday sales; 80% of online buyers we surveyed agreed with the statement “I prefer to shop online rather than go to crowded stores during the Thanksgiving weekend.”
- Email is very much alive; shoppers said they find out about holiday deals through email more than any other marketing channel including search, social networks and mobile texts combined.
- Approximately 12% of web buyers now say they belong to shipping clubs (e.g. Amazon Prime); that is up from 9% last year.
- Sixteen percent of online buyers said they shopped with their mobile devices over the Thanksgiving weekend this year, up from 9% last year.
While mobile shopping is the most notable difference this year, retailers that mastered the basics of great values, extensive assortments and effective marketing campaigns should have fared best. We’ll be releasing a holiday post-mortem in January as well as our 2012-2017 online retail forecast in early Q1; stay tuned for final figures.