As just about the final week of 2018 gets underway, it’s worth taking a look at what we now definitively know about this holiday season. Here are the facts about the role of technology in retail during 2018’s holidays.
1. Marketing automation is picking up steam and is just getting started. It drove 7% of online sales on Black Friday this year, spurring consumers to purchase via automated emails, push notifications, and on-site pop-ups. Expect the influence of these tactics to increase in years to come as machine learning is further democratized across retail.
2. Mobile‘s hold on e-commerce is growing across a number of metrics, with the most substantial magnification coming in terms of sales attributed to email. Contact Pigeon reports that compared to just 40% of email-driven sales on Black Friday in 2017, this year’s post-Thanksgiving spending spree saw 58% of email-driven sales start on mobile. Mobile accounted for half of overall orders that day, up a few percentage points from the previous year, and a greater percentage of total sales as well.
3. E-commerce growth is spreading out spending across the holidays, according to an analysis by Internet Retailer. This year saw e-commerce sales from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday jump 19% to $22.5 billion, exceeding many analysts’ expectations. The rise came from unexpectedly high sales on Thanksgiving Day, a sign that being able to purchase on mobile from one’s couch is spreading holiday spend that might once have focused on non-holidays.
4. Brick-and-mortar remains relevant, as 51% of shoppers polled by LendEDU said they planned to purchase the majority of their Christmas presents in-store. To remain competitive in the digital age, retailers are trying out a number of new strategies aimed at making the retail experience as convenient as possible.
Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s managing editor.