2013 E-commerce Holiday Shopping Season Readiness

The 2012 holiday shopping season showed us that promotions are launched earlier, buying started sooner, peaks were higher, and deals lasted longer. Consumer shopping behavior and channel usage are rapidly changing. Here are some metrics to help you prepare for this upcoming holiday shopping season to meet the demands of the empowered consumers:

  1. Mobile users continue to grow with 15% of all online sales coming from these devices, along with 25% of site traffic and 47% of opened email. The iPad leads all devices with more overall traffic, more growth, and higher conversation rates. Traffic from the iPad have doubled in December 2012 compared to December 2011. For Black Friday 2012, conversion rates on the iPad are 2.5 times that of iPhone and Android devices.
  2. Customers are ordering more and want bigger discounts. Items per order are now at 10.5 due to retailers doing a good job promoting sales and cross-selling. Although average order value was up during the 2012 holiday season, it did fall on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  3. It is increasingly more difficult to get and keep a customer’s attention. The average time spent on a page shrank to 6:26 in November 2012 and page views per session down to 6.7 with the bounce rate peaking at 39% in January 2013. Mobile users spent less time on sites as well going down to 3:48 from 6:33, page views 5.4 from 7.0, and a bounce rate of 44% from 38%.
  4. Good customers are hard to find and even harder to convert. Conversion rate in March 2013 was at 4.9%, maintaining its three-year average. Shopping cart abandonment was steady until February 2013 where it spiked to 69% while in the same month hitting a record low conversion rate of 30%.

Therefore, to help this season be more profitable, you must:

  • Deliver a superior mobile experience
  • Retarget browsers and cart abandoners
  • Accurately measure channel performance
  • Optimize digital marketing
  • Progress toward interactive cross-channel marketing


Source: IBM: Sixth Annual US Online Retail Holiday Readiness Benchmark