Ecommerce Holiday Forecast for 2013
There are many different reasons why this year’s holiday season is expected to be the most successful yet. From the new iPhone 5s sales to increase digital advertising, there are several reasons why this year will be the best yet. Each of these trends could have a huge impact on the amount of sales that ecommerce storeowners experience this year.
The following predictions for the 2013 holidays will help ecommerce retailers prepare for this holiday season:
1. Mobile’s share will reach 16% due to increase digital advertising.
eMarketer has revised their previous prediction of mobile sales shares from 15% to 16%. The revision is due to the increased amount of spending on digital advertising, as online retailers drive conversions across mobile platforms. eMarketer predicts that mobile sales will reach a total of $41.68 billion by the end of this year. Mobile commerce will be a very important part of the overall digital retail market.
Mobile devices contribute to overall ecommerce sales due to more consumers researching products on their mobile devices and completing their transactions on desktops. As tablet sales have increased, more consumers have been using them to browse online retail stores. This year, more ecommerce sites have optimized for mobile viewing than any other year. Increased mobile apps and the 9 million new iPhones sold in September are also important factors that contribute to the increase in mobile sales predictions.
2. 2013 U.S. ecommerce sales are expected to be 15% higher than last year’s.
U.S. Online consumers are expected to spend over $83.2 billion during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to trend monitoring firm eMarketer. Several trends are contributing to the sales growth, making this holiday season the best time for ecommerce retailers to sell more than ever before. eMarketer projects that ecommerce holiday sales will be 15% higher than last year.
In addition, eMarketer expects U.S. ecommerce retail sales to reach $262.3 billion by then end of this year. This prediction would be a growth of 16.4% from 2012.
3. More free shipping offers = More personal recommendations.
According to UPS’ May 2013 study, 68% of shoppers have recommended an online store to a friend simply because it offered free shipping. Google has also reported that there is a surge in “free shipping” searches, which will peak on Cyber Monday.
In late 2012, Google found that nearly half of shoppers will leave a site if it doesn’t offer free shipping.
38% of online retailers are planning to invest in free shipping offers in 2013. As SeeWhy has found in its research, offering free shipping at just the right hurdle rate can significantly reduce cart abandonment, meaning that retailers should test those threshold rates carefully.
4. The holiday season is earlier than ever before.
Approximately 30% of consumers making plans to purchase holiday gifts will start before October 1st this year, according to The E-tailing Group. The holiday season is starting earlier and earlier each year, with shoppers more eager to buy. Ecommerce retailers have already started planning campaigns for the holiday season. 69% of online retailers started planning in August.
In addition, 49% of online retailers will launch holiday campaigns before Halloween, according to Experian Marketing Services. In addition, 70% of online retailers will use a promotion for the holidays, 39% will offer free shipping, 28% will offer a deal of the day, 21% will offer online coupons, and 3% will offer layaway.
5. More consumers will use price as a deciding factor in their purchasing decisions.
A Google Consumer Survey, conducted in July 2013, shows that 40% of shoppers will simply look for the best price, rather than staying loyal to a particular brand. Finding the best price is getting easier for holiday shoppers, due to shopping comparison sites like Google Shopping, NexTag, and PriceGrabber.
Retailers, such as Toys ‘R’ Us, are matching prices on their ecommerce sites with their competitors’ prices online in order to compete.
Online retailers will be using Loyalty Rewards this holiday season to encourage purchases. Consumers are more likely to purchase with some sort of incentive.
With the Holiday season quickly approaching, ecommerce merchants should start to invest in holiday promotions and campaigns. In order to cash in on holiday sales, online merchants need to begin preparing now.