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MarketingCharts-Holiday2013-E-Commerce-Growth-Estimates-Jan2014With the holiday season well and truly over (the Super Bowl is the next event-based flood of research), the results continue to roll in, with comScore pegging desktop e-commerce sales growth of 10% for the November-December period, and IBM putting online sales growth (mobile included) at 10.3% for the fourth quarter. Overall, ShopperTrak says that national retail sales grew by 2.7% year-over-year during November and December, while the NRF comes up with a growth rate of 3.8%, in line with expectations, for the period.

The following is a selection of holiday highlights (links to the sources can be found at the end of the article):

Spending

  • Holiday (Nov-Dec) e-commerce revenues grew by an estimated 12% year-over-year (Custora), buoyed by an 18.2% increase on Cyber Monday;
  • Online sales in the US grew by 18% year-over-year, with November and December accounting for 27% of annual sales for the average US retailer (Adobe).

Traffic, Marketing Channels, and Conversion Rates

  • E-commerce conversion rates inched up a decimal point from the 2012 period to reach 2.5% in 2013 (Custora), although Adobe puts the average rate at 1.96% (3.28% among the “best of the best”);
  • E-commerce visitor traffic increased by an estimated 15% year-over-year, while orders were up by 12% (Custora);
  • Organic (26%), email (16%), and CPC (15%) drove the largest share of e-commerce purchases, with email up 3% points from 2012 (Custora);
  • Only 2% of online holiday shoppers were referred directly from a social network (last-click), although 36% of US consumers said that at least 30% of their purchases were influenced by social media (Adobe);
  • Facebook accounted for 64% of social referrals, though Pinterest (+24%) and Twitter (+17%) referrals grew more quickly (Adobe);
  • On average, search delivered 36% of online holiday shoppers, slightly behind direct visits (40%) (Adobe);
  • Checkout completion rate was 49% on average, but 68% for the “best of the best” (Adobe);
  • Email volume across all industries increased by 12.8% year-over-year during the Sept.29-Dec. 31 period, with the increase even larger (35.8%) over the last 10 days of the year (Experian);
  • Multichannel retailers’ email volume was up a more modest 9.3% for the entire period, while increasing 33.5% during the last 10 days of the year (Experian);
  • Email click-through rates and transaction metrics fell on a year-over-year basis during the fourth quarter, but the large increases in email volume led to a 9% increase in transactions deriving from email campaigns and an 18.4% rise in overall revenue.

Mobile Commerce

  • Tablets (11%) and mobile phones (18%) accounted for 29% of all holiday e-commerce orders, up from 20% in 2012;
  • As also noted by IBM, iOS devices accounted for the vast majority (83%) of mobile commerce orders (Custora);
  • Mobile shopping accounted for 14% of total holiday online sales for the average US retailer, with a peak of 26% share on Black Friday (Adobe);
  • Mobile’s share of sales grew more quickly for brick-and-click retailers (+6.4% points) than for online-only retailers (+4.5% points), and also represented a greater share of sales for the former (Adobe);
  • As might be expected, mobile’s share of online sales was greater for categories such as toys and apparel than for higher-ticket categories such as automotive and electronics (Adobe);
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of emails sent by multichannel retailers were opened on mobile, with this industry also seeing more than half of its clicks occurring on mobile (Experian).

Key Dates

  • Online sales on Cyber Monday peaked between 8 and 9PM (Adobe);
  • Two of the top 10 email-related transaction days of the holiday period were in early November (Nov. 8 and Nov. 15), per Experian;
  • The week ending December 28 accounted for 15.5% of total sales and 16% of total holiday traffic (ShopperTrak);
  • The strongest sales days were Nov. 29 (Black Friday), Dec. 21, and Dec. 23, in that order, with Black Friday emerging as the top traffic day (ShopperTrak).

Source Links

More holiday 2013 coverage:

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