The 2019 holiday shopping season is shaping up to be another blockbuster year as Adobe Analytics predicts every day in November and December is likely to surpass $1 billion in online sales for the first time ever. With a condensed shopping period, the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday alone are expected to drive $29 billion in online shopping revenue—or 20 percent of total holiday sales. A November Retail Dive Brief highlights other key takeaways from the Adobe Analytics report, including:
- Cyber Monday’s expected and impressive impact. Adobe Analytics projects that Cyber Monday revenue will reach $9.4 billion in 2019, which is an 18.9 percent increase year over year. One of the most lucrative periods is the time span between 7 and 11 p.m. Pacific Time. Conversions nearly double during this four-hour block, garnering approximately 30 percent of total Cyber Monday sales.
- An increase in smartphone shopping. Though consumers tend to reserve smartphone shopping for smaller-ticket items like baby products and children’s toys, they are becoming more comfortable with the concept of purchasing from their phones. This year, smartphones will account for 47 percent of overall holiday growth, though most people still use a desktop when shopping online for larger products like electronics or furniture.
- Social media is making it almost effortless for people to buy from their phones. These days, it’s incredibly easy for a consumer to click on an ad or social media post in order to shop a mobile-friendly catalogue. In 2018, mobile accounted for more than 58 percent of e-commerce website visits and that number is expected to rise this year as retailers expand their Instagram Checkout offerings.
- Larger retailers are still getting the biggest online boost, even on Small Business Saturday. Big name brands win big during the holiday online shopping season, seeing their revenues soar up to 150 percent on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, aka Small Business Saturday. Meanwhile, small businesses—stores with less than $50 million in revenue—see an online sales bump of just 84 percent. The difference could be due to the fact that supporters of Small Business Saturday prefer to shop in-person rather than online.
These numbers are sure to thrill the retail industry, but an increase in online spending almost guarantees an increase in the number of returns. In fact, it’s estimated that in the United States, approximately 13 percent—or $90 billion worth of merchandise—is returned to stores every holiday shopping season. And, gifts purchased online are 3x more likely to be returned than those purchased in-store.
Savvy retailers can actually convert high seasonal returns into a business asset with just a bit of strategic preplanning. Consider this: Most of the merchandise returned to stores or storage shelves will still be in working and/or cosmetically perfect condition, sent back mainly because of personal preference or wrong sizing.
But due to seasonal trends and consumer whims, the majority of these items can’t be resold as “A” stock, thus resulting in significant financial loss for retailers. Rather than taking the monetary hit and sending merchandise into the landfill, companies can create a robust secondary market for their used, returned or excess inventory.
A dynamic online marketplace like the one you’ll find at B Stock Solutions offers a data-backed auction system that sells your leftover products to approved buyers around the globe. The process compels a faster sales cycle, driving demand while pushing up prices—and setting your business up for holiday shopping success.