comScore’s prediction for holiday 2015 was that ecommerce sales would be up 14% in November and December. And while comScore’s prediction fell well short of that mark (6%), mobile commerce took off much better than expected.
In fact, comScore said total digital spend for the holiday season, when inclusive of comScore’s preliminary mobile commerce estimates, reached $69.1 billion, about a 13% annual gain vs. $61.3 billion spent in the 2014 season.
Mobile commerce is estimated to have accounted for 18% of total digital commerce in November-December 2015, an increase from 13% in the previous season. A total of $12.7 billion was spent via smartphones and tablets during this period, up a staggering 59% versus year ago.
comScore’s holiday season forecast had expected desktop e-commerce to grow 9% to $58.3 billion and mobile commerce to grow 47% to $11.7 billion. While desktop spending fell short by 3 percentage points and $1.9 billion, preliminary mobile estimates suggest it exceeded forecast by 12 percentage points and nearly $1 billion, helping to offset the shortfall on desktop.
“If there is an underlying takeaway from this holiday season, I think it will be remembered as the one where “mobile ate brick-and-mortar,”" said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni. “Mobile became an essential shopping channel nearly doubling desktop in total retail traffic… I believe that we’ve seen a paradigm shift in 2016 where the future of retail will increasingly be defined by consumers’ behavior on mobile.”