4 Key Trends That will Shape Holiday E-Commerce this Year

While I was pumpkin-picking and cider-drinking this past weekend, my thoughts naturally turned to holiday e-commerce shopping. Fall is the time of year when retail marketers are putting the last ornaments on their holiday marketing plan, while the rest of the world turns to imbibing pumpkin spice latte the greatest trick capitalism ever pulled.

And so in the spirit of fall and holiday e-commerce prep, we took a look at holiday insights gleaned from The Custora E-Commerce Pulse: Custora’s free dashboard for US e-commerce stats, based on data analysis from over 100 retailers, 70 million anonymized shoppers, and $10B in transaction data. This post highlights some of the most interesting holiday shopping trends, and implications for e-commerce marketers.

All e-commerce holiday stats below (unless otherwise specified) are from the The Custora Holiday 2013 Recap Report and The Custora Holiday Snapshot (click the links to download the full reports).

Stay up to date with holiday e-commerce stats: The Custora E-Commerce Pulse, a free dashboard for US e-commerce stats, will track and report on holiday shopping trends during the 2014 holiday season. Sign up to the Pulse to get notified when we release new holiday updates and reports.


4 Key Trends for the 2014 Holiday E-Commerce Shopping Season

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What Apple Pay and the iPhone 6 mean for Online Retailers

Among a bevy of announcements, Apple today announced Apple Pay: A new mobile payment service for retailers, both online and store-based. Apple Pay launches with an impressive roster of online retailers, purpose built apps, and “real life” merchants including Target, Whole Foods, McDonalds, Panera Bread, Nike, Starwood, Groupon, and Uber.

The new iPhone 6, available September 17, is going to be the first device embedding Apple Pay, allowing customers to pay with their phones online and in store. Payment will be done through the Touch ID interface – using one’s finger. The new Apple Watch, available early next year, will also feature Apple Pay.



In this post we dive into some of the background and strategies which may have contributed to Apple’s decision to develop Apple Pay, as well as the implications for online retailers.


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Why the (rumored) Apple digital wallet will change Apple’s e-commerce trajectory

Tomorrow Apple is rumored to announce the iPhone 6, along with the long-awaited iWearable thing (our money’s on it not being called a watch). In this post however, we’ll focus on another rumored big announcement: A digital wallet, or a new “mobile payment system”.
According to the rumors, the iPhone 6 is going to be the first device embedding Apple’s new payment system, allowing customers to pay with their phones online and in physical stores like CVS and Walgreens. The rumors also report on a partnership between Apple and major banks and credit card companies, with significantly lower credit card processing fees for Apple compared to rivals like PayPal.


Here’s what the new digital wallet means for Apple as an e-commerce player.


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The Best Month to Acquire New Customers is Not What You Think

It is unquestionable that the holiday season reigns the peaks of retail activity. In November and December, shoppers research and buy presents for family and friends, while taking advantage of numerous deals and sales, both online and in brick and mortar stores. Most retailers, consequently, assume the biggest spike in new customer acquisition occurs during this time frame, the two months of holidays galore — and they would be correct. But, with this rise in customer acquisition that spikes in the final months of the year, retailers ought to consider the lifetime value of these buyers — meaning the total spend of the customer over his or her entire relationship with the store. Inevitably, these customers tend to lean towards what the industry likes to call “one and done” buyers. In it for the discounted prices and out when deals are gone.
A spike in new customer acquisition that comes with poor retention and modest lifetime value? Time to rethink. Despite the jump in customers storming through your door in November and December, the best month to acquire new customers is, in fact, October.

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