Retailers dreaming of a green Christmas need to make sure their online marketing is up to the task. The holidays are usually a time for increased sales, but this year may be better than usual. A recent analysis from Adobe estimates that consumers will spend more than $100 billion this year on online shopping channels.

On the basis of findings using Adobe Analytics, Adobe expects that online sales will be $107.4 billion, an increase of 13.8 percent, while in-store retail is only expected to grow by about 10 percent (which is still good, just not as good as the increase in online spending).

Though more consumers are starting their holiday shopping early, the Adobe report indicates that Thanksgiving weekend, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, will be busier than ever. One out of every six dollars this holiday season will be spent between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, leading to $19.7 billion in sales.

Adobe predicts this upcoming Cyber Monday will become the largest online shopping day in history, with a forecast of $6.6 billion in sales, 16.5 percent growth compared with last year. Sales on Thanksgiving Day are also expected to increase. Thanksgiving sales may see a 15 percent year-over-year increase to $2.8 billion.

"This year's record-breaking online holiday shopping season is built on the strength of the big players," said Mickey Mericle, vice president of marketing and insights at Adobe. "We predict the biggest retailers with wide selections, easy shopping experiences, and free shipping to drive online holiday growth this year. Still, there is opportunity for savvy small retailers to win, specifically with mobile experiences. As revenue growth plateaus, retailers will be competing hard for customers by offering steep discounts and providing a seamless customer journey."

The report also featured good news for mobile marketers. Though desktop purchases are predicted to account for two-thirds of revenue this holiday season, mobile is serving as a starting point for many consumers when researching items. In other words, a mobile campaign can plant the seed that will blossom into a desire to go to the main site later to buy the item seen during a mobile search. Also, for the first time, web traffic on smartphones and tablets is predicted to be higher than for desktops, at 54 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

Since online shoppers can shop at any time of day and owing to the increased levels of competition, it's important for online retailers to pick the best dates for their sales and marketing campaigns. The Adobe holiday forecast also has information on what should be the best shopping days in 2017, and predicts what will be the best-selling items of those days.

According to Adobe, the sharpest discounts are expected to occur on Black Friday, with televisions (23.7 percent), tablets (23.6 percent), appliances (17.7 percent), and jewelry (12 percent) showing the largest price decreases. On Thanksgiving, Adobe predicts that consumers will find the best deals on computers (16 percent), sporting goods (11 percent), apparel (15 percent), and video games and consoles (9.6 percent).

Adobe predicts that Cyber Monday discounts will be highest for toys, at 19.1 percent. The Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving is expected to offer the best deals for Christmas decor, with average discounts of 22.7 percent. Furniture and bedding as well as pet products are expected to see the steepest price cuts on Giving Tuesday, with 12.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively.

There are a lot of factors working toward making this year a record year in online holiday sales. While this report examined a lot of data on Thanksgiving weekend, there's a lot of data that shows some savvy retailers have already started their holiday sales drives. Read this article to learn the benefits of starting holiday campaigns before Thanksgiving.

Published on: Nov 6, 2017
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