US Shoppers to Spend $124 Billion Online This Holiday Season

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The U.S. holiday season is expected to post online sales growth of 14.8% compared to 2017’s total spending of $108.2 billion. According to a projection from Adobe Digital Insights, online sales will reach $124.1 billion this year, about one in every six dollars consumers spend this year. Projected online growth is about three times the projection for overall sales growth of 4.3% to 4.8%.


The Thanksgiving weekend (Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday) is expected to generate $23.4 billion, almost 20% of total holiday season online spending. Black Friday sales are forecast to reach $5.9 billion and Cyber Monday sales are predicted to reach $7.8 billion. Cyber Monday sales are also forecast to see the highest year-over-year growth at 17.6%.

One extra shopping day this year is expected to add $248 million to online sales and online sales will total at least $1 billion on all but three days: Dec. 22, 24, and 25.

Nearly half of all online sales (48%) will be made from smartphones. Tablets are expected to account for 9% of sales and desktop machines for the remaining 43%.

If retailers were to make mobile checkout easier, mobile devices would account for another 7.3% of holiday sales, the equivalent of another Cyber Monday. Mobile app users are twice as likely to buy than mobile website users and three times as many mobile app shoppers have recently made a purchase compared with website shoppers.

Returning customers — those who have made at least two previous purchases — generate 40% more revenue share for large, online-only retailers than for so-called brick-and-click retailers.

Consumers also appear to like the buy online, pick-up in store option. This kind of order has more than doubled (up 119%) since January.

Adobe Digital Insights also noted that 72% of consumers do not plan to do any in-store Thanksgiving Day shopping this year, up from 63% last year. Instead, these consumers are turning to their smartphones — 60% more consumers will shop from their smartphones this Thanksgiving Day.

The best day to shop for certain categories of items differs. For example, the best discounts on sporting goods (13%) are available on Thanksgiving Day. Computers (16%), tablets (33%), and televisions (22%) are discounted most heavily on Black Friday. Toys are discounted most heavily (19%) on Cyber Monday.

One final note for serious shoppers: On average, just 1% of products drive 54% of all online sales; during the holiday season that percentage rises to 70% of sales from 54%. A word to the wise.


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