Holiday Shopping Trends & Statistics

The holiday season is a wonderful time to show appreciation for your family, friends, coworkers and maybe even a few acquaintances. And with the amount of shopping and revenue generated by retailers during this time, it’s a stretch in the shopping industry that can’t be overlooked. Here we share some key statistics and insights you should know about as you grow your retail platform in serving your customers during this popular time of the year. 

$1,226 is spent, on average, on gifts and holiday shopping

On average, shoppers spend over a thousand dollars on gifts, decor and other holiday-related purchases. But for those with higher incomes, that number increases even more. In fact, for those who earn over $100,000 in annual income, that average of $1,226 doubles. That’s a lot of opportunity for retailers to focus their efforts for the holiday season to drive sales both in-store and online. 

$135 billion was spend in the United States on holiday online shopping

When it comes to holiday shopping, consumers put their best foot forward. In 2019 alone, over $135 billion was spent on holiday-related purchases online. This matches the growing demand for ecommerce retailers and other opportunities to avoid the holiday crowds and shop from the comfort of their own home. This new amount contributes to a 13.2% growth year-over-year on holiday season e-commerce sales. Not only are people shopping to celebrate the holiday season, they also are doing a lot of their shopping through an online platform for convenience and finding exactly what they’re looking for. 

40% of sales made online are done through mobile

When it comes to engaging with your customers online, a desktop preview no longer is the norm. For 40% of sales made online, those transactions happen through a mobile device like a phone or tablet. This growth in online shopping isn’t something new, yet it becomes all the more significant when factoring the craze of holiday shopping. In fact, over $64 billion was generated in mobile sales for the holiday season in 2019. 

Having an online e-commerce platform that’s optimized for mobile is not only recommended, it’s just about required in order to grow successfully online. You can optimize your online platform by making sure your layout is conducive to those making decisions with the tip of their finger. Keeping your forms simple and easy to complete also makes mobile users stress-free and happy with a convenient shopping experience. 

$152.95 is the average order value of holiday e-commerce sales

When online shoppers seek to make their purchases online, they make them count. With so many gifts to buy and things to do, the average order value for online transactions reached about $153 in 2019. This amount increases during the timeframe between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which grows to an average order value of $162. Retailers can take advantage of these numbers and see where they measure up with the average, keeping in mind that industries vary on their average order value. 

61% of Shoppers are open to new retailers

Shoppers are looking for what’s new. And if your business has what they’re looking for, you may just attract some new sales. During the holiday season in 2017, 61% of consumers indicated that they would be willing to make a purchase from a retailer they hadn’t ordered from before. When it comes to holiday shopping, people may be willing to try new things and explore new retailers that can offer what they’re looking for. Additionally, Think With Google noted that in 2017, 46% of shoppers actually did make a purchase from a new retailer during the holiday season. This is especially good news for new and up-and-coming retailers that are still getting their feet off the ground. When it comes to holiday shopping, people are eager to try what’s new to share the love and give gifts to their friends and family. 

Gen X Spends the most ($782) on holiday shopping 

When it comes to which generation spends the most for the holiday shopping season, Generation X, those born from 1960-1970, tend to spend the most. Cloudways indicates that they spend an average of $782 on holiday-related purchases. For second place, Millennials, those born between 1981-1996, spend on average $609 on holiday shopping. Thirdly, Baby Boomers tend to be more conservative in their spending; these people who were born between 1946-1964, spend on average $576 on holiday seasonal shopping. While these averages obviously vary based on location, income levels and spending habits, it’s important to keep in mind when developing marketing campaigns and drawing in your potential customers for the holiday season. 

22% of shoppers start their holiday shopping in October!

Not everyone shops the same way when it comes to preparing for the holidays. Some are proactive and check things off their list early. Others procrastinate and wait for that perfect deal or sales in order to complete their shopping list. Yet the trend has been that people tend to start early in their holiday shopping. In fact, 22% of shoppers start buying and browsing for the holiday season in October. For retailers, that means you’ll need to be ready with your campaigns, sales and communication starting in the summer or fall. While 31% of people claim they start their holiday shopping around Thanksgiving with days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, being proactive can also be highly beneficial. Gaining interest from your shoppers early can help build brand loyalty and secure those important sales before another retailer does. 

Early holiday shoppers spend $460 more than those who start after Thanksgiving

While you may think that last-minute shoppers will pay just about anything for the latest and greatest gift, those early shoppers actually tend to spend more. Those who start their shopping before November spend an average of $1,769, compared to those who shop on or after the Thanksgiving holiday with an average of $1,309. This average is even greater than those who start their shopping right before Christmas, who spend an average of $1,284 on their holiday shopping. While it’s important to entice those last-minute shoppers, those early birds looking for great gift ideas are also important populations to keep track of. 

The day after Christmas (December 26th) is the 4th busiest shopping day of the year

When shoppers are looking for great deals on Christmas-related products or other merchandise, they don’t often wait for their post-Christmas food coma to settle. With post-Christmas sales galore, the fourth busiest shopping day comes right after the main event. Whether shoppers have gift cards they’re ready to spend or are looking for a fun outing with family in town, shoppers don’t wait to head to the stores or order online. For retailers, this means you had better be ready to meet customer demands right after the holiday is over. 

Holiday retail spending grew 5.4% in 2018

With billions of dollars generated, holiday shopping has seen impressive growth in recent years. Cloud Ways notes a spending growth of 5.4%, with sales of $998.32 billion in 2018. For ecommerce platforms, that growth rose significantly to 16.7%, reaching $123 billion in sales. For traditional brick-and-mortar stores, that growth was only 3.9%, reaching $874 billion in 2018. With greater opportunities available online, holiday shopping has a promising future for those seeking virtual, convenient ways to check things off their holiday gift list.  

76% of holiday shoppers prefer to shop exclusively online

While there’s always the typical holiday crowds swarming department stores, more and more people are turning to the convenience and ease of online shopping. It’s become the preferred method of shopping for 76% of consumers for holiday shopping. With the opportunity to browse products on your own time, compare prices with ease and find that specific gift you’re looking for, online makes it super easy for consumers to get exactly what they need. Ecommerce retailers should be delighted by this with the drive to align their campaigns, website and ordering process to meet the needs of online shopping. For those retailers who primarily operate within their brick-and-mortar stores, it’s worth a look to see how you might be able to take advantage of this growing online retail market. 

This preference is also evident in the decrease in demand for in-person shopping. Cloudways indicates that in 2018, in-store shopping fell 7.5% for the holiday season. The growth for online transactions is key for retailers to keep in mind as they continue to explore ways to engage customers. 

31% of shoppers did their research online before going in a store to make a purchase

For attracting new and existing customers, using different medium can be highly effective. In fact, 31% of shoppers during the holiday season said that they searched for images or videos prior to heading into a store to make their actual purchases. These methods of communication are key in showcasing products and inviting customers into the experience you have to offer even before they step foot in your store. Additionally, YouTube has seen six times increasing growth in holiday shopping content through the past two years. With trends like these, it’s worth it for online and brick-and-mortar stores to capitalize on their online presence and social media engagement through images and video. 

42% of sales right before Christmas are for in-store pick-up

While some shoppers are proactive and start their holiday checklists early, there are also a large segment of the population that procrastinates. And when they do, they want their purchases sooner rather than later. In fact, 42% of sales the week right before Christmas came from people who were looking to make their purchase online and be able to pickup what they bought in the store. These shoppers seek the convenience of buying online with the opportunity to get their items as soon as possible through in-store pick-up. Retailers can capitalize on this trend and offer exclusive deals and offers for such shoppers – driving sales right before the big holiday. Start Your Holiday Shopping Online