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The Data is Out: 2019 Holiday Season Retail and eCommerce Trends

By Brian Aldrich | February 25, 2020

While the 2019 holiday shopping season has come and gone, digital marketers are only just beginning to dig through the final numbers. This end-of-year post-mortem is the first step many of us take on the quest for the data that will help refine 2020 holiday strategies, and last year’s data certainly has a story to tell.

2019 Holiday Shopping Overview

The 2019 shopping season was a short one because Black Friday and Cyber Monday fell a week later than usual. As a result, retailers and marketers pushed to make every available shopping day count. The abbreviated season didn't stop consumers, however. Total retail sales were up year-over-year this holiday season, reaching $722.60 billion — an increase of 4.1% over 2018’s return of $694.32 billion. Online shopping drove a larger percentage of holiday revenue than ever before, and a record number of consumers made their purchases with smartphones. Here’s how those numbers broke out:

Retail Sales Up Thanks to Online

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ measured holiday shopping sales from November 1st through December 24th. They found:

eCommerce Sales Set Records

Depending on who’s reporting, final 2019 eCommerce sales reached somewhere between $128 and $142 billion. While online sales set records, they still missed projections set by many industry analysts.

Cyber Monday Still Reigns Supreme

The Monday following Thanksgiving remains the biggest online shopping day of the year. The below infographic gives Adobe's day-of breakdown:

Cyber Monday has become the biggest holiday shopping day of the year.

Smartphones drove spending in a big way on Cyber Monday, which mirrored the overall seasonal trend.

After breaking down the numbers, it’s clear that more and more consumers are choosing the convenience of shopping online using their smartphones, rather than braving busy stores. These same consumers are also keen on doing much of that shopping during the deal-rich period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. This was certainly true for Logical Position (LP) clients.

Logical Position Holiday eCommerce Overview

Our clients came hard out of the gate as the holiday season began, and were rewarded with significant results.

LP clients had a very successful holiday shopping season.

While our clients increased their spending on desktop, mobile saw the most significant jump of all.

  • LP clients spent 17% more on desktop in November and December year-over-year.
  • Mobile saw a big bump over desktop with a 26% year-over-year increase in November and December.
  • However, advertising spend on tablets saw a big decrease of 24%.

It’s Never too Early to Plan for 2020

If these trends continue, retailers can anticipate continued growth in online sales, and expect such sales to consume an increasing percentage of their overall revenue. Consumers are also doing more of their holiday shopping via their smartphones than ever before. In response, retailers must have a proven online sales plan and a responsive website that caters to mobile shoppers first.

If your company needs help developing its 2020 holiday shopping strategy or getting its website mobile-ready, we’d love to help. Contact us today to learn more.

 

Brian Aldrich

Brian Aldrich is the Vice President of Search at Logical Position. He's responsible for overseeing our paid search department and identifying new strategies in the digital marketing landscape. In his spare time, he loves to get outdoors and explore the Pacific Northwest!
By Brian Aldrich | February 25, 2020
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