Mobile will dominate this year’s peak season, accounting for 68% of all ecommerce visits over ‘Black November’ and the Christmas period.
According to a global analysis by Salesforce, 2018 holiday season revenues will grow 13% over last year, with AI-based product recommendations driving 35% of all revenue.
Salesforce combined insights on the activity of 500 million global shoppers across 53 countries and billions of transactions powered by Commerce Cloud with data from the Salesforce annual Shopper-First Retailing Report and found that Cyber Week — the seven-day period beginning the Tuesday prior to American Thanksgiving and running through Cyber Monday — will account for 40% of all digital revenue for the shopping season globally.
Black Friday will again be the top digital shopping day of the season, capturing 10% of the season’s revenue, while Cyber Monday will contribute 8% of sales. Half (50%) of holiday shopping will be complete by 2 December , a day earlier than the 2017 holiday season, the study suggests.
But it is mobile that will be driving things globally this year. For the first time during the holiday season, shoppers will place more orders from their phones than computers or tablets. Mobile phones will account for 46% of all orders, edging out computers (44%) and far outpacing tablets (9%).
Mobile will deliver 68% of all ecommerce traffic this season, an all-time high, which reflects 19% year-over-year growth. In addition, mobile traffic share will peak on Christmas Eve, when shoppers will turn to their phones to make 72% of all visits and 54% of orders.
“Mobile is undoubtedly the most disruptive force in retail since the onset of ecommerce,” says Rick Kenney, Head of Consumer Insights, Salesforce. “This is the year shoppers turn to phones, buying more on phones than any other device, and making far more visits, too. We’ll see more visits from phones this season than total ecommerce visits across the entire 2015 shopping season. And even those in-store shoppers are mobile — 83% of shoppers aged 18 to 44 are using their phones while in a physical store.”
Instagram will emerge this holiday season as the fastest growing social channel for referring digital traffic to retail sites, with Instagram traffic growing 51% year-over-year, while Facebook will see a 7% decline. Social traffic share will surpass 5% during the holiday season, increasing 17% over last year’s social traffic share.
Health and beauty shoppers are the most likely to tap from Instagram to an ecommerce site.
AI-based product recommendations will drive more growth. Revenue driven from AI-powered product recommendations will grow by 25% since the 2017 holiday season, while AI-based product recommendations will drive 35% of all revenue.
“Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they don’t feel that retailers truly know them. But retailers who infuse AI into the shopping experience can better understand customer needs and drive increased revenue with capabilities like personalized product recommendations," says Kenney.