Splender analyzed over four million transactions at 800+ sites to see how online shopping in 2015 compared to 2014. Thanksgiving Day was the third highest online shopping day of the season with computers and electronics leading the way on gifts but apparel and accessories leading the way on growth. Cyber Monday is still the largest holiday shopping day online, with 6% of holiday sales. However, sales were down 14% since 2014.
In my opinion, there are a few takeaways here:
- Planning – shoppers are spreading out their purchase behavior and may not be pursuing standing in line on Black Friday for deals. Retailers and e-commerce sites should look at spreading out their offerings over the course of the season leading up to Christmas.
- Coordination – Coordinating online and retail sales, shipping, pickups and returns for the holiday season could drive a lot more online sales or store pickups. If consumers know it's easy and can trust the timeliness of delivery, they'll make the purchase. This years stumble by FedEx may have hurt that trust.
- Marketing – both of these are going to require strong marketing in 2016. Instead of focusing on the bombardment of brochures and sales flyers, I believe great retailers will help their customers and prospects plan the season, find the best deals, help them coordinate paying them, and ensure their timely delivery.
Marketers should pre-plan with plenty of time and room for agility heading into the season. If you don't have a strategy by the end of the summer on how you're going to differentiate your holiday shopping from your competitors, you may be too late to the game. Your goal today should be to continue acquiring subscribers and app downloads so that you have a larger audience to market to once the season kicks off. By May, you should have a strategy in place for the season.
This infographic was supplied by Splender, the largest provider of company-based shopping loyalty programs in the US.