Holiday shopping will heat up earlier than ever this year, experts predict.
By Rieva Lesonsky
I know, I know, it’s August. But if you’re a retailer, you should already be planning your holiday sales season. That’s because retail spending is creeping earlier into the holiday shopping season, according to comScore Inc. data reported by eMarketer. “The period between Thanksgiving and what the researcher [calls] ‘Cyber Tuesday’ has taken an increasingly larger share of online holiday spending over the past few years,” eMarketer says.
“Those six days accounted for 16.2% of ecommerce holiday spend via desktop in 2015, and last year that figure rose to 17.7%,” the report continues. “This is even more significant considering that 2017 had three more shopping days post-Thanksgiving than in 2015.”
In 2017, according to comScore, holiday e-commerce sales saw its largest increase on Cyber Monday, when sales hit $3.4 billion (a 26% increase, compared with a 15% bump from November 1-December 31.
The numbers might be even larger than that. eMarketer reports Adobe says Cyber Monday was the highest retail e-commerce sales day in the 2017 holiday season, racking up $6.6 billion in sales. The reason for the discrepancy: Data from comScore excludes mobile, while Adobe includes it, reporting $1.4 billion in sales from smartphones and $600 million from tablets.
The trend of retailers “concentrating more sales around Thanksgiving” is partly behind the shift to earlier spending, eMarketer theorizes.
According to a survey from TrendSource, last year 54% of internet users in North America were done with most of their holiday shopping by Cyber Monday (although 61% of 18-to-27- year-olds shopped after Cyber Monday).
The National Retail Federation (NRF) has already upped its retail sales forecast for 2018, predicting overall sales will increase a minimum of 4.5%, up from its initial 3.8% to 4.4% forecast issued earlier this year.