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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 22, 2016

Expert: What retailers can learn from 2016 holiday shopping season

The holiday shopping season isn't over by a long shot, but already there are some key takeaways that retailers could use to have a better 2017 revenue year. Keys like mobile use, social influence, and timing.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is different, from a shopper perspective, this holiday vs. last?

Maribeth Ross, SVP Marketing, Monetate: Shoppers are feeling more comfortable purchasing big-ticket items on their phones. We're seeing this in the increase in average order values (AOV), which has grown from $82 to $95 over the last five quarters. This has resulted in a jump in mobile holiday shopping this year vs. last.

We're also seeing shoppers waiting until later in the holiday season to shop this year. This is rooted in hopes that there will be deeper discounts at the last minute, and because the distraction of the election caused many shoppers to feel like the holidays snuck up on them this year.

Kristina: How are retailers doing at cutting through the clutter to engage their shoppers?

Maribeth: Given the importance of mobile, retailers need to focus on creating a mobile experience that's quick and easy for shoppers. Screen size is a hurdle, so minimizing popups and using badges to identify popular items or free shipping options will help move the process along more quickly and result in conversion.

Knowing the average time-on-site for mobile is 5-10 percent less than desktop, retailers are also creating more personalized experiences that track across different channels and provide product recommendations based on factors unique to the individual shopper. This is something we'll see more of in 2017.

Kristina: Just how big an impact is mobile having this year?

Maribeth: This year, mobile accounted for 22% of all U.S. ecommerce revenue during Cyber Week. Despite mobile's challenges, customers spent almost a quarter of their online dollars on mobile. With the overall trend from in-store to online and the progression we're seeing from Black Friday, it's time for retailers to rethink their approach to the season.

Kristina: Looking ahead to 2017, what are some early takeaways that retailers can use to continue reaching their shoppers?

Maribeth: Efforts will be made to personalize interactions, from in-store to on the web, through email and customer support, by connecting the dots between those channels. Few will have completed this transition by the end of the year, but some will be moving in the right direction. It will be the year that technology catches up to marketers' ambitions.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce trends, holiday shopping 2016 trends, Monetate

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