Ecommerce Holiday Haul: Mobile Drives Online Growth

Online sales grew 13.1% YOY in the U.S. and 8% worldwide during the 2019 holiday season, according to a pair of new studies from Adobe and Salesforce.  

Adobe, in results released on Monday, reports that online sales hit $142.5 billion in the U.S.

And Salesforce, in research put out on Friday, states that global online revenue reached $723 billion. 

The latter was driven, in part, by the sending of over 162 billion emails, SMS and push notifications during the period — a 15% increase in email sends and a 17% rise overall, Salesforce says.

It’s time for retailers to start leveraging all those new email addresses that have poured in by sending both triggered and promotional campaigns.

In the U.S., .smartphones accounted for 36% of online revenue, a 21% rise YoY, Adobe found. Phones also drove 58% of traffic to retail sites November through December, a 14% hike.

“Smartphones drove tremendous growth in online sales this holiday season, and we expect mobile commerce to continue to grow as experiences improve,” states Jason Woosley, VP of commerce at Adobe.

That said, mobile pulled 3.0 online buying completions per 100 visits, compared with 5.9 for desktop. And smartphones had a 50% cart abandonment rate, versus 33% for desktop.

Meanwhile, 20% of total online sales came in during Cyber Weekend, compared with 17.7% in 2018.

Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) revenue grew by 35% during the season and by 55% in the seven days leading up to Christmas, with last-minute shopping accounting probably accounting for some of this.

 “Other growth drivers for the 2019 holidays include the 5-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday hitting record heights, BOPIS, as well as an earlier start to holiday-inspired deals from retailers,” Woosley adds.

According to Salesforce, Cyber Week generated $143 billion, with Black Friday remaining the leading digital shopping day.

Worldwide, although an American holiday, Thanksgiving pulled in $20 billion, a 24% rise. Digital traffic grew by 13% in the week leading up to Cyber Week. And while shoppers filled their online baskets, they waited until Cyber Week itself to order.

AI-powered search and product recommendations drove 10% of digital orders and 5% of digital revenue, it says.

Like Adobe, Salesforce has determined that mobile is growing — by up to 80% on peak days like Christmas. On those days, it drove 65% of digital orders and around 80% of traffic.

"Mobile certainly catered to people on the go this holiday season and in 2020 brands should be looking for ways to integrate this experience into physical stores for a true omnichannel shopping journey," states Rob Garf, VP, Industry Strategy for Retail, Salesforce.

Adobe used Adobe Analytics and Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning to analyze trillions of visits to U.S. retail sites.

Salesforce analyzed behavior of over a billion global shoppers in over 30 countries from November to Dec. 25 via transactions in its Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud,


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