Ecommerce Impact on Holiday Sales

I’ll admit that I’m not a big shopper. I don’t get my jollies by chasing holiday deals, and it doesn’t make my day merry and bright to load the family in the car and head to the mall to join everyone else from the city. Don’t get me wrong, I know people love it, but it’s just not for me. Instead I usually start my shopping about December 9th, making a quick and efficient swoop to knock it all out in a matter of a week. To help me prep for such efficiency I generally spend the first eight days of December doing what all ecommerce sites fear a consumer might do–comparison shop, research, and not buy much.

This year it seems I’m not alone as sales numbers indicate shoppers have been trying to catch their breath after a wild and frenzied Thanksgiving weekend. And while consumers have been relaxing and ecommerce sites have been scaling back the promotions that lured shoppers in early this year, many analysts believe that the week of December 13th will see another significant surge in addition to the 12% increase that’s already occurred over the same period last year.

Much of the boost this week will come specifically from online shoppers, and even though discounts will not be as drastic as they were going into Thanksgiving, retailers and consumers will make one final gush before shipping deadlines expire. That has potential to be great news for online stores, as about 33.6% of all shoppers made an online purchase over the Thanksgiving weekend. Given that number, the second week of December could again be a mammoth for ecommerce just as it has in past years. Adding to the optimism, online sales exceeded a billion dollars on Cyber Monday this year for the first time ever, and comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni predicted that several more days would follow suit, including today and tomorrow, the 13th and 14th of December. All trends and analysis aside, it should be interesting to see if the predictions hold true given the still lagging economy.

Over a 33 day period through November and into December this year online holiday shoppers have already spent more than $17.5 billion, but in the end that number typically accounts for only 8-10% of total holiday sales.  There’s no question that online shopping trends have been inching upward over the years, and given the amount of time people spend on their smart phones there’s no doubt that number will continue to rise in the future (although that will no doubt be lumped into a separate category apart from online sales).

If you look back over the last decade, consumer confidence in online shopping has improved dramatically. Indeed every year more and more people have access to the Internet, and those people are feeling better about pulling out their credit cards and conducting a transaction online. Internet consumers are no longer a product of veteran status based on the amount of time they’ve actually spent in front of an open browser, nowadays shopping online, especially during the holidays, is common fare for many, even beginners.

HotWax Media understands the importance of following online shopping trends in order to help us better understand how to deliver powerful enterprise ecommerce solutions. These days it’s mandatory for a business to possess the ability to expand and adapt in order to align with consumer demands.  If you’re anything like me you can appreciate the fact that that better enterprise ecommerce sites means more Christmas shopping from home, and that’s the kind of gift that keeps on giving.

Jared Matkin is a staff writer for HotWax Media with a background in PR, Branding and Marketing. He’s also a light-hearted and an opinionated character who will join other HotWax Media employees and advisors in periodically posting his thoughts on topics ranging from enterprise eCommerce to business and technology.


DATE: Dec 14, 2010
AUTHOR: HotWax Systems
Enterprise eCommerce, Enterprise e-commerce solutions