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2019 Holiday eCommerce Sales Break Records

December 4, 2019 Natalie Golub

Shutterstock_1170478690 Santa Claus on scooter delivering Christmas or New Year 2019 gifts at snowy gray background

The 2019 holiday shopping season is in full swing, and more consumers are headed online than ever before. For the third quarter of 2019, ecommerce sales reached $145.7 billion, which is 17.3% higher than a year ago and the biggest jump in the history of ecommerce.

Holiday eCommerce Shopping Dominates Beyond Cyber Monday

This year, consumers did not wait until Cyber Monday to start their online shopping. Retailers, fearing a shorter selling season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, began promoting sales in early November, and have seen staggering results. Shoppers spent $72.1 billion online between Nov. 1 and Dec. 1. The past weekend alone brought in $7.4 billion in online sales. The full holiday season is projected to hit $143.7 billion in online sales this year.

Black Friday was predicted to be the busiest in-store shopping day of the year for retailers in the U.S., but ecommerce is where consumers were adding the most to their carts. Online spending hit a record of $5.4 billion, which is up 22.3% over last year’s Black Friday online sales. Cyber Monday marked the largest online shopping day of all time in the U.S., with online sales reaching $9.2 million with a 16.5% jump in sales from last year’s $7.9 billion. In fact, consumers spent $1 million every minute from 11 pm ET to midnight, and the hours between 10 pm and 2 am accounted for $2.9 billion in sales.

Mobile Is Where It Is At This Holiday Season

Shutterstock_520769017 Unrecognizable Man Hands holding Credit Card and Using SmartPhone by the Burning Fireplace and Festive Presents - Close Up. Man with phone key-green screen by cozy fireside.

Smartphones have been a prime shopping tool this season, accounting for 36.1% of online sales so far which is 24% higher than last year. Black Friday was the biggest day ever for mobile, with $2.9 billion in sales from smartphones, which is a 21% increase over last year. Cyber Monday’s online sales reached $3 billion, which is 46% higher than last year’s totals.

As more consumers are using their mobile devices to make purchases, retailers are making the online shopping experience easier and more seamless by streamlining the checkout process and enhancing branded mobile apps with more interactive and engaging content. Retailers are using social media as a powerful driver of online sales as more social media apps have increased their shoppability platforms offering shopping ads to promote products.

Retail Stores Making eCommerce Enhancements

For retail stores to stay relevant, it is essential they build out their ecommerce businesses and invest in ecommerce enhancements. Walmart, Target and Best Buy are examples of retailers winning their integrations of ecommerce as they have multiple options for customers to make purchases including, online, curbside and in-store. Many retailers are also using part of their retail store space to serve as warehouses to deliver goods to online customers faster.

The growth of ecommerce spending during the holiday season is a shift that will continue, as online sales are expected to account for 17% of all U.S. retail sales by 2022, up 12.7% in 2017, according to Forrester’s new Online Retail Forecast. Ecommerce sales should exceed $600 billion in 2019, double the spend of five years ago, meaning retailers must continue to adapt and change in order to stay relevant in the increasingly digital world.

Retail statistics sourced by Adobe Analytics

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