The retail holiday season has begun and sales in the US online sales are tipped to increase by 14.8 per cent to $124.1 billion while offline retail spending will grow at a more modest 2.7 per cent, according to Adobe Analytics data.

November is the month of mega sales, including China’s Singles’ Day on 11.11, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Adobe expects the US Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day sales will increase 17.6 per cent and 16.5 per cent, respectively. In the US, nearly one out of five dollars this holiday season will be spent between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, generating $23.4 billion or 19 per cent of total online sales.

The impact of online sales events is also apparent in Australia. Last year November overtook December as the biggest month of the year for fashion purchases for the first time, according to Australia Post.

Scott Rigby, Head of Digital Transformation, Adobe said the figures will be similar for Australian retailers.

“The 2018 holiday shopping predictions reflect a very similar retail landscape to ours here in Australia and with US online sales expected to increase by double digits this holiday season, we expect there will also be a significant increase in Australian online sales,” Rigby said.

“It is also highly likely that as consumers become more and more conditioned to wait for big discount sales rather than pay a premium, we will see a similar uplift in online sales on big sales days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Whether selling online, in-store or both, retailers must adapt, innovate and keep pace with the changing market around them.”

Omnichannel advantage

Retailers with both bricks and mortar and online stores are expected to perform better than their pure play competitors. According to Adobe, retailers with online stores and physical footprints are expected to see 28 per cent higher conversion online in comparison to retailers lacking a traditional storefront.

“As online shopping surges with another record-breaking holiday season, the retailers with compelling websites coupled with physical store locations will have the advantage,” said John Copeland, head of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe.

“Many shoppers want to interact with retailers’ products and the brand in-store, and the ability to pick up online orders in-store within a matter of hours can’t be underestimated.”

Adobe Analytics data anticipates shoppers increasingly buying online and picking up items in-store (BOPIS) during the holiday season. BOPIS has increased 119 percent since January 2018 across all retailers and over 250 percent for large retailers. A survey of over 1,000 US consumers shows nearly half (47 percent) expect to browse in-store for a product they intend to buy online later, jumping to 58 percent among millennials.

Mobile traffic and conversions continue to trend upward. Smartphones represented 48.3 per cent of visits and 27.2 per cent of revenue, that’s up 11 per cent year-on-year.

However mobile also suffers from a higher rate of cart abandonment, completed cart orders happen over 20 per cent less on smartphones than desktop, thanks to sub-optimal checkout experiences. Closing that gap is a $9 billion opportunity.

Previous post

Five projects that are harnessing big data for good

Next post

Why is Psychological Safety Being Ignored?

Join the digital transformation discussion and sign up for the Which-50 Irregular Insights newsletter.