Final holiday figures: $92B in e-commerce, omnichannel retail had big share

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The final holiday online shopping tally is out. According to Adobe, total e-commerce sales (November 1 to December 31) hit $91.7 billion, representing growth of 11 percent year over year.

Out of 61 shopping days in the period, all but five saw at least $1 billion in online revenue. Traffic to retailers was split evenly between the desktop and mobile but sales still heavily favored the PC. Mobile devices accounted for 31 percent of sales and the desktop generated 69 percent according to Adobe’s estimates.

Simultaneously comScore released desktop commerce data for the same period. The firm said that US consumers spent roughly $63.1 billion online during November and December, which is very much in line with the PC component of the Adobe figures. Mobile totals were not in the comScore data.

Cyber Monday, November 28, was the largest single day of online spending generating $2.7 billion, comScore reported. However overall holiday retail sales exceeded $1 trillion according to various estimates. That means e-commerce was just over 9 percent of the total.

Despite all the recent headlines about traditional retail layoffs and store closures in the wake of online shopping growth — the so-called “Amazon effect” — The International Council of Shopping Centers published survey data asserting that omni-channel retailers were driving the majority of retail sales, with roughly “70 percent of total holiday related spending [at] stores with both a physical and an online presence.” The survey also found more than 90 percent of shoppers bought gifts in physical stores.

Sales on Amazon amounted to almost 40 percent of online spending according to Slice Intelligence.

Perhaps surprisingly, Millennials were the segment most likely to shop in stores (81 percent) compared with Baby Boomers (62 percent) and Gen X (73 percent). More than 75 percent of Millennials also expressed a preference for buying online from retailers that also had physical store locations.

The survey also found that 86 percent of Millennials used mobile devices in-stores, for price comparisons and other functions but generally not for “showrooming.” More than 95 percent of Millennial in-store mobile shoppers wound up buying from those retailers.


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