3 Predictions for the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season

Many trends will emerge in the 2019 Christmas shopping season, but I think three will be notable.

First, click-and-collect may encourage shoppers to await last-minute deals and advantage. Secondly, mobile commerce will come into its own. And next, Amazon will account for almost half of all online U.S. holiday sales in 2019.

Many trends will emerge in the 2019 Christmas shopping season…

1. Click-and-collect Will Drive Last Minute Shopping

Buy online, pick up in-store — that I call”click-and-collect” instead of the usual foul-sounding BOPIS or BOPUS — has made it much easier for people to store last minute.

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In bygone times, last-minute Christmas shopping was a painful combination of not finding a parking space, scouring half-empty shelves for something worth giving as a gift (such as an Old Spice gift collection ), and waiting in line to pay. Click-and-collect has removed several of those pain points, effectively enabling procrastinators.

Thus, we could observe an increase in Christmas sales (a few of which could result from ecommerce) after the normal delivery deadline of December 14, 2019.

This trend might be a concern for small and midsize online-only retailers, since some shoppers may choose to await last-minute bargains and click-and-collect convenience. Brick-and-mortar merchants know that this is a competitive edge.

2. Revenue from Mobile Will Account for Over Half

I am doubling back on mobile trade for your 2019 Christmas shopping season. I feel that over half U.S. online holiday retail sales will originate on a mobile device.

I made this exact same prediction this past year, and I was fairly close, with a few sources reporting that mobile trade represented 40 percent of total U.S. online retail sales.

A couple of factors could provide mobile a boost in 2019.

First, mobile commerce is currently popular outside of america.

By way of instance, Shopify, whose customers are generally small-to-midsize ecommerce businesses, reported that 39 percent of 2018 U.S. holiday sales on its platform originated out of mobile devices. In contrast, 66 percent of 2018 global holiday orders were on mobile devices.

A number of causes drive the gap between mobile purchases in america and the rest of the world, including desktop possession and mobile infrastructure. However, for 2019, American shoppers may come nearer to the worldwide trend.

Second, 1 factor driving mobile trade could be social networking. In its 2018 holiday recap, Salesforce said”that the 2018 holiday season proved that mobile and societal should be the pillars of your plan next year” noting that”8.5 percent of Cyber Week mobile traffic came from a social station.”

3. 45 Percent of Earnings Will Be on Amazon

In 2018, Amazon had 41 percent of total U.S. online sales, based on FTI Consulting. Some 14.7 percentage of U.S. online sales were Amazon first-party transactions, meaning Amazon was the seller. About 25.9 percent of 2018 U.S. online retail sales came from third party vendors on the Amazon marketplace.

Massive retail businesses like Walmart will try to make a dent in Amazon’s market share, but I do not think that will happen in the 2019 Christmas shopping season. Amazon will grow both first-party and third party sales in my estimation.

Last Year’s Predictions

Each fall since 2013, I’ve made a collection of ecommerce-related predictions for the forthcoming holiday season. Last year, my list included four previsions.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Week Will Be 37 Percent of Total.” I had high hopes for the 10-days beginning on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018, and ending December 1.

Salesforce estimated that 37 percent of U.S. holiday retail sales in 2018 happened during Cyber Week.

I had been pretty much spot on. Salesforce reported that”Cyber Week” accounted for just 37 percent of total holiday retail sales. To be honest, Salesforce’s definition of Cyber Week was slightly different, running from the 20th to the 26th. But I am still calling this forecast a win.

“Mobile Sales Will Be 52 Percent of Total.” Here I called mobile commerce to account for just over fifty percent of vacation ecommerce sales. Whether I was right or not, depends upon whom you ask.

Salesforce said,”This year [2018], the convenience of mobile was a busy shopper’s best friend. For the first time, mobile phones processed the vast majority of digital orders at a fast-growing fashion, peaking on Christmas Day because of last-minute shopping.”

Consequently, if people take the Salesforce results, it would appear I had been very near. Adobe, nevertheless, put mobile trade at roughly 40 percent of total vacation ecommerce sales. That amount had smartphones accounting for 31 percent of vacation online sales and pills for 9 percent.

“Voice Shopping Will Be 3 Percent of Earnings.” As an avid Alexa user, I anticipated voice-driven shopping to represent 3 percent of complete ecommerce sales last Christmas. However, I let my curiosity about voice trade influence me too much, and I missed the mark on this one.

Total voice trade sales for 2018 were an estimated $2.1 billion. To hit my forecast, I had a $3.6 billion in voice trade sales for just the holiday season. But, Amazon reported that”customers use of Alexa for shopping more than tripled this year [2018] in comparison to last year.”

“Over Half of Holiday Orders Will Include Free Shipping.” Some 81 percent of online retail orders comprised free shipping throughout the 2018 holiday season, according to Comscore. What is more, nine out of 10 orders placed from a desktop computer included free shipping.

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