The 2013 holiday shopping season set records across the e-commerce industry and became the biggest shopping event ever on Bigcommerce. According to comScore, online spending grew 22 percent from 2012 during the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, also known as the Cyber Five. Bigcommerce clients saw an even bigger spike in sales, with revenue increasing 113 percent across the platform. Clients across a wide range of industries, including apparel and lifestyle products, reported record sales over the holiday weekend.
Trend: The early bird gets the customer
While orders and revenue were up throughout the weekend, year-over-year growth rates did vary across the individual shopping days.
The biggest jump in revenue came on Thanksgiving Day with Bigcommerce stores showing 132 percent growth from 2012. Thanksgiving also posted the largest increase in total number of orders, growing 137 percent compared to 114 percent on Black Friday and 90 percent on Cyber Monday. Black Friday saw a 74 percent jump in revenue per store, barely nudging out Thanksgiving Day’s 72 percent growth.
Cyber Monday led in absolute number of orders, revenue and revenue per store. But it came in third place across the board for year-over-year growth with a 76 percent increase in revenue and 46 percent increase in revenue per store. This trend indicates that the Monday shopping holiday is reaching a saturation point, with customers starting to hunt for deals earlier in the week.
Trend: Beat the big guys in the beginning
The comScore data, which accounts for all desktop shopping across the full range of online retailers, also saw the biggest increase on Thanksgiving Day with 21 percent year-over-year growth. But Cyber Monday came in second place with an 18 percent increase, followed by Black Friday at just 15 percent year-over-year growth. According to Costura Pulse, which includes mobile shopping in their analysis, overall e-commerce revenue was up 18.2 percent on Cyber Monday, 16.2 percent on Black Friday and just 15 percent on Thanksgiving Day.
These numbers suggest small and medium-sized businesses have an advantage early in the Cyber Five holiday, specifically on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Shopping online means the customer can dictate when and where they make their purchases. Getting inventory up early and posting offers before the holiday could help e-commerce stores capitalize on these trends.
Trend: Prepare for the mobile migration
Shopping from phones and tablets was huge in 2013. IBM analysts reported a 45 percent increase in Cyber Monday sales from mobile devices. Costura found the share of mobile orders out of all holiday e-commerce orders increased from 20 percent in 2012 to 29 in 2013. Apple’s iOS devices accounted for 83 percent of those mobile orders, down from 87 percent last year, while Android grew from 13 to 16 percent.
Mobile is expected to keep on growing. When preparing for the 2014 holidays, make sure your site is optimized for phone and tablet conversion. Bigcommerce offers a wide variety of mobile solutions as well as partnerships with app makers like Apptive.
How did your store do during the 2013 holiday shopping rush? We’d love to hear about your results and any tips you have to share with fellow Bigcommerce clients. Good luck getting your orders filled, and if you are looking for advice on how to handle returns around the holidays, sign up for our free webinar on managing returns and keeping customers this Thursday, Dec. 19, at 2 to 3 p.m. CST.