Spring may be just around the corner, but there’s still plenty to be said about what happened this winter. Earlier this year, we published the 2015 Holidata Recap Report, examining the major trends of the 2015 holiday shopping season. In addition, we brought together the e-commerce community for a webinar to recap the season and discuss how holiday trends will impact their 2016 marketing plans.
You can watch the full webinar below, but here are three of the most surprising trends from this holiday season.
1) Cyber Monday is becoming Cyber Week
Historically, our advice has been to think of the holiday shopping season as a marathon, not a sprint. While that still rings true, this year there were some miles that were more important than others.
In 2015, the top seven shopping days of the holiday season all fell in one week – what we’ll refer to as “Cyber Week.” (This week is comprised of the dates between 11/24-11/30).
This year marked the tenth anniversary of Cyber Monday. In those ten years, Cyber Monday has become synonymous with the best sales, inventory, and shipping options that the internet has to offer. To leverage that reputation, retailers have been stepping up their offerings for the week leading up to Cyber Monday as well. Shoppers who are serious about getting a good deal now flock to Cyber Week for their holiday shopping needs.
2) We all like to procrastinate
While we saw the highest volume of sales during Cyber Week, the standout in terms of growth was the period right before Christmas. December 22 and 23 had 22.8% and 32.1% year-over-year growth, respectively.
With the increasing presence of fast delivery options such as courier services, same day shipping, and buy online pickup in store, shoppers are more comfortable doing their shopping at the last minute. Just as we’ve all grown to expect free shipping, expedited delivery options are slowly but surely becoming the holiday season norm.
3) Email wins again
Every year, experts predict that it will finally be “the year of social.” Unfortunately, social media fell short of expectations this holiday season, contributing to less than 2% of e-commerce orders. Despite the media focus on newer channels, “old-fashioned” email continues to be a reliable performer during the holiday season. 20% of orders this holiday season were attributed to email, and that number spikes to almost 25% over Thanksgiving weekend. With over 100 billion emails sent daily in the U.S, it seems that email will continue to be one of the most valuable tools in an e-commerce marketer’s toolbox.