2014 Holiday E-commerce Recap + Tips for 2015 from Marketing Leaders


We’re well into the New Year with stores prepping spring sales to shower shoppers with discounts — still, it’s weird seeing mannequins and models in shorts while we’re still getting blasted with frigid weather.

Regardless, while we’re trying to think of anything but winter, there is still plenty to be learned by looking back at the recent November – December busy season, and trying to understand the driving forces behind the biggest U.S. online shopping season on record.

We recently published the Custora 2014 Holiday E-commerce Report that details many of the important trends from the past season. Often, marketing teams tell us that they wish they could hear from other people in the field, exchange stories, and hear about which marketing campaigns are actually working. So, in addition to releasing our report, based on data from real retailers, we partnered with Bounce Exchange to host a webinar: 2014 Holiday E-commerce Recap + Tips for 2015 from Marketing Leaders

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Holiday E-Commerce 2014 – What Mattered Most (New Custora Report)

We made it.

Another year, another frenzied shopping season. The weather was much friendlier and the shipping elves were better prepared for the surge in package delivery driven by the continued growth of e-commerce.

The Custora E-Commerce Pulse 2014 Holiday Recap Report examines the major trends during the 2014 holiday shopping season (November – December): Strong growth, mobile e-commerce, the marketing channels driving e-commerce transactions, and more.

The findings in this report are based on the Custora E-Commerce Pulse, a free dashboard tracking online transactions from over 100 US retailers, 100 million shoppers, and over $40 billion in transaction revenue. Sign up here to receive email notifications for monthly updates and seasonal research reports.

Here are four highlights from the report. Download the full report below.

We’re also holding a webinar discussing the report’s results, you can learn more and register here.
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Holiday E-Commerce 2014: Download Custora’s Holiday E-Commerce Recap Data


The just-released Custora E-Commerce Pulse 2014 Holiday Recap Report examines the holiday season’s most notable trends: Top grossing days (beyond Cyber Monday and Black Friday), the growth of mobile e-commerce (and Apple’s role), the marketing channels driving online transactions, and more. You can read more about the report and download it here.

In this post, we are making available a spreadsheet containing the report’s raw data. You can download it below.

This report is a product of the Custora E-commerce Pulse, which publishes monthly updates on the state of US e-commerce based on data from over 100 million anonymized shoppers and $40B in e-commerce revenue from over 100 online retailers. You can sign up for email updates from The Pulse here.

Here is the data contained in the spreadsheet:
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Holiday E-Commerce Recap + 2015 Trends

Holiday 2014 - the big trends

It’s official.

Holiday 2014 was the biggest retail season on record, with revenue up 15.6% versus 2013.

Our upcoming holiday recap report is chock full of holiday insights based on data analysis from over 100 retailers, 100 million anonymized shoppers, and $40B in e-commerce revenue. We’ll share them in a webinar we’re hosting in tandem with BounceExchange:

Webinar: 2014 Holiday E-commerce Recap + Tips for 2015 from Marketing Leaders

You’ll hear the highlights of the 2014 holiday season, and get planning insights for 2015 from leading retailers including Ann Taylor, BaubleBar, and NastyGal.

Topics include:

  • The biggest holiday shopping days (hint: They’re not just Black Friday & Cyber Monday) (learn more)
  • Mobile e-commerce and what it means for marketers (learn more)
  • Which marketing channels drove e-commerce transactions this holiday (learn more)
  • The most important e-commerce marketing trends for 2015 (learn more)

Hope to see you Wednesday, January 28th (1-2pm EST) or Thursday, January 29th (3-4pm EST). Learn more and register to the webinar here.

I waited in line at Traders Joe’s and wrote a blog post about it

Offline inspiration for improving e-commerce customer experiences


Waiting stinks. Yes, one of the biggest upsides of e-commerce is immediate access to shop for almost anything. But once you buy that thing you still need to wait for a box to arrive. Some of the big retailers (and even a few smaller ones with the help of services like deliv) are trimming that wait time down to a few hours, but we’re still a few years away from the replicator.

When shopping in the real world, especially around the holidays, waiting in line is a guarantee. Managing excessive queues is actually a fascinating design challenge. Whole Foods shook the status quo when they first arrived in New York by implementing a single line / next available register system inspired by banks. Trader Joe’s uses a similar system, using an usher of sorts and numbered flags to indicate open registers.

While waiting in the longer-than-usually-long checkout line at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan, I noticed something awesome. That tasty orange chicken was back at the sample counter.

Also, a TJ’s Captain (that’s what they call “managers”) walked up and down the line casually asking if anyone would like him to grab anything they might have forgotten. Completely unnecessary, a bit peculiar, and very thoughtful. A few people actually took him up on the offer. So cool. Aside from just a nice gesture, it probably helped expedite the overall line by reducing those last minute, “I’ll be right backs…”

It’s a small, simple customer interaction and another reason for me to love Trader Joe’s.

This got me thinking, are there analogous e-commerce “waiting” experiences that might serve as opportunities to wow some customers? A few ideas that come to mind:

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