Online shopping ramped up last weekend as the first bargains of the holiday shopping season arrived for Veteran’s Day.
Indeed, for U.S. consumers, Saturday, Nov. 10, through Monday, Nov. 12, brought a slew of deals and promotions that triggered online purchasing. That’s the key finding of an analysis by Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), which used Adobe Analytics to analyze 1 trillion anonymized visits to retail sites and 55 million SKUs. Adobe Analytics measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. (Adobe owns CMO.com.)
“While online shopping started out slow earlier in the month, beginning this Veteran’s Day weekend we’ve seen it substantially pick up steam,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of ADI.
Indeed, Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11) saw 29.1% growth in online sales year-over-year (YoY), reaching $1.82 billion. Interestingly, the day after Veteran’s Day saw even higher spend, clocking in at $1.95 billion—up 32.6% YoY—nearly making Monday the first $2 billion day of the holiday season.
According to ADI, the strong Veteran’s Day weekend shopping made up for slightly slower spending in the beginning of the month. So far, $18.1 billion has been spent online for the holiday season from Nov. 1 to Nov. 12, which is up 16.6% YoY. The start of the season (Nov. 1 to 9) saw just 13.3% YoY growth, which rebounded on Veteran’s Day weekend (Saturday through Monday) at 25.7% YoY growth. Consumers’ orders have averaged $134 for the season (Nov. 1 to Nov. 12), up 2% YoY.
So far, the first 12 days in November have topped $1 billion in online spend, which is consistent with last year. As we approach Thanksgiving, expect to see 36 days surpassing $2 billion, compared with just 22 days in 2017, Adobe Analytics forecasts.
Additionally, Adobe’s prediction for overall online spending for the entire holiday season remains intact: $124.1 billion in sales, representing 14.8% growth YoY. Cyber Monday is projected to bring in $7.8 billion; Black Friday, $5.9 billion; and Thanksgiving, $3.3 billion.
ADI also found that mobile is already playing a bigger role in online shopping this holiday season. From Nov. 1 to 12, revenue from smartphones rose 28.1%, up 30.2% YoY. Consumers spent $5.1 billion online via smartphones, a 51.9% increase YoY. Smartphones represented 48.6% of visits, compared with desktops at 43.1%.
“We expect consumers to shop in all sorts of new, innovative ways this year,” Schreiner said. “Not only will they be increasingly using their mobile phones anywhere in the house, the commute, or even under the table during Thanksgiving dinner, but they’ll also be talking to the living room smart speaker to make some of those last-minute purchases.”
Paid search has driven the majority of traffic to retail sites for the first 12 days of the month at 23.7%, a 6.2% increase YoY. Email and shopper helper sites drove 19.3% and 4.6% of traffic, respectively (email is up 1.6% YoY, shopper helper sites are down 21.9% YoY). Share of traffic from social networks are up 23.7%, at 1.5% of overall traffic.
Consumers also capitalized on the convenience of buy online/pick up in store this Veteran’s Day, most notably with a 91% lift in usage over the previous Sunday.
“Several retailers offered sales for Veteran’s Day weekend that consumers capitalized on—a precursor for the record online shopping we expect during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout the rest of the season,” Schreiner said