U.S. Holiday Ecommerce a Record $142.5B, Up 13%; Every Day Over $1B

Black Friday mobile commerce feature

Ecommerce spending in the U.S. for November and December posted a new record at $142.5 billion, up 13.1%, according to data from Adobe, while Salesforce pegged worldwide ecommerce spend at $723 billion, an 8% increase.

Smartphones accounted for 84% of the 2019 holiday ecommerce growth in the U.S., Adobe said. Retailers also benefiting from the popularity of buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), up 35% and surging to 55% above the season average in the seven days leading up to Christmas.

Adobe’s report used its analytics and machine learning to analyze trillions of visits to U.S. retail sites. The company said smartphones accounted for 36% of all holiday ecommerce revenue, up 21%, and 58% of retail site traffic, a 14% gain.

Growth drivers for the 2019 holidays include the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday hitting record heights, BOPIS and an earlier start to discount offers, said Jason Woosley, vice president of commerce product and platform at Adobe.

Holiday spending record-breaking results reported by Adobe also include:

  • Average daily online revenue exceeded $2.3 billion across the holiday season, up from $2.1 billion in 2018, a 13% gain and outpacing overall retail growth of 4%
  • Every day during peak season exceeded $1 billion in online sales except Christmas Eve, and there were 29 days of $2 billion plus, up from 26 in 2018)
  • For the first time, smartphone purchases accounted for more than $50 billion in seasonal sales
  • The $100 billion sales mark was hit six days earlier this year, Dec. 9 vs. Dec. 15 last year

Adobe previously reported total holiday ecommerce sales reached $26.93 billion over Cyber Weekend, from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday ecommerce spending alone reached a record $9.4 billion, up 19.7%, making it the largest online shopping day ever in the U.S. Also, Cyber Weekend accounted for one-fifth of overall seasonal sales.

On the strength of more early deals from retailers, sales for the five days before Thanksgiving were up 26% over 2018, Adobe said.

Salesforce’s holiday ecommerce report, based on insights from hundreds of millions of global shoppers across 30+ countries, found the early season buying frenzy led to later softness, as online revenue fell 27% during the week leading up to Christmas.

“This was likely due to a smoothing out of demand throughout the year from shoppers buying gifts as early as the summer to take advantage of manufactured holidays or going into physical stores on the cusp of the shipping cutoff date to avoid hassles with delivery,” Salesforce said in its report.

Adobe’s reports are based on analysis of more than 1 trillion visits to retail sites and 55 million SKUs, measuring transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. ecommerce sellers. Because of the shorter season in 2019, Adobe’s results baked in an additional estimated week for 2018 to create an apples-apples comparison.

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