2015 Holiday Sales Data, Updated Info For Dec 3rd

Updates as of December 3rd, 2015 9am – we’ve received the following updates from a variety of sources; by all accounts, online sales were rocking! 
MoovwebSmartphone shopping soared:

More customers shopped using their mobile phones than last year.  The report shows 45% increase in number of shopping sessions and 16% increase in mobile conversions rates. In fact, smartphone’s share of revenue grew 36% compared to last year.  “The shift from desktop to mobile is completely apparent this holiday season and it will serve as a warning sign for other industries to go mobile,” – Haresh Kumar, VP of Marketing.   More from Moovweb

WorldpayShane Happach, Chief Commercial Officer, Global eCommerce: 

“It’s safe to assume this year’s online sales will eclipse those of previous years despite the backlash around the event that has dominated headlines over the past few weeks. Halfway through Black Friday 2015, Worldpay processed 40 percent more online transactions globally than we did over the same period last year. If there were any doubts Black Friday will remain a staple of the global retail calendar, 2015’s spending has surely quelled them. We’re on track for yet another record-breaking day of sales, sending a clear message to retailers that shoppers’ appetite for major events like this remains strong.”
AlipayThe number of China-based consumers shopping U.S. brands online over the holiday season has increased 700% over last year, according to Ant Financial Services Group’s Alipay, which enables leading U.S. brands and retailers to easily sell and ship directly to customers in China through its Alipay ePass cross-border e-commerce solution. The result was uncovered as part of Alipay’s early holiday shopping review conducted from November 17th through November 30th, when the Company also found that total sales from China-based consumers purchasing U.S. products online increased 15 times versus last year.


Above image source – Moovweb Holiday Shopping Report
Original article –   published 11/30/15
Early indications are that it has been a successful weekend for holiday sales – here’s a sample of what we’re reading: 
Barrons, who cited CreditSuisse,  “BestBuy and Home Depot were winners in the Most OmniChannel Holiday Yet”  – Best Buy seems to be a relative demand winner” 
ChannelAdvisor – total e-commerce is set to grow 15% y/y  – Amazon and eBay sales up. 
National Retail Federation –  “According to the National Retail Federation’s Thanksgiving Weekend Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 151 million people said they shopped either in stores and/or online over the weekend.”
(Data junkies should enjoy reading the NRF Thanksgiving weekend consumer survey data)
PayPal shared data on what categories were biggest:  #1 – Fashion – by more than 4 times the next most popular category,   #2 Electronics    #3 Cosmetics    #4 Toys.  
Also, the top five US cities shopping on mobile on Black Friday –  Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami.  
Lightspeed POS shared data gleaned from analyzing their clients: “apparel and footwear retailers led the way with a 202% increase in average daily sales.  This was followed by electronics and jewelry retailers, each reporting a 176% increase in sales.” 
JP Chauvet – Lightspeed’s CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) said that independent retailers are becoming more sophisticated and are actively engaging in Black Friday marketing – represented by a “23% jump in the number of independent retailers offering online sales”.
Verizon Retail Index findings: “the holiday weekend is no longer about a particular channel on a particular day.  Michele Dupré, group vice president of retail, hospitality and distribution for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, says these findings show the game is undoubtedly changing. The kickoff weekend to the holiday season is no longer about shopping via a specific channel—whether mobile, online or in-store—on a given date.  It’s the Wild West for retailers as they continue to try new tactics to attract consumers and gain wallet share.  The challenge will be in successfully engaging with customers throughout the season who may be holding out for better deals given all the price slashing and special offers. (Above image source: Verizon)
Cyber Monday – Target’s website was reported as being down this morning (Reuters) .  Shopping carts could not be accessed.    A report from a friend of mine also said that glitches were experienced in the retail store as well.  “The woman in front of me at Target had her coupon bar code and it wasn’t working. Employees were dumbfounded”.  
(Are retailers adequately stress testing their websites and POS systems?)   The NRF says that over 121 million consumers plan to shop online today
Anecdotal data  – I live in the Tampa MSA, and based on everything I saw it was a solid day and weekend for retailers.  As good as I’ve seen in a long time.   I visited a number of retailers including Brookstone, Best Buy, Home Depot, my local cycle shop, Bass Pro shops.  I would have gone to the International Mall in Tampa after shopping at Bass Pro, but the highway (Interstate 75) was bumper to bumper for ten miles heading into Tampa – (can we raise the Federal gas tax now?).  I went home and shopped online for that item I needed at Uno de 50, who had a great Black Friday promotion.   Best Buy had lines for check out and consumers were buying big screen TVs, vacuums, computer equipment, smartphones and more.  I checked out the display of the Dremel 3D printer – price point was lower than I expected but I have to do more research before I buy one.  I could barely find the display by the way – I walked the whole floor and finally gave up and asked for help.  It was facing a back wall.  I’ve wanted a 3D printer for a long time, this will be the year I buy one.  I have no idea what I will use it for.  
The local businesses were doing well, except for the nail salon, where I was almost the only client.   Since that salon is always packed on a Friday, it is a good indicator that people were out spending their dough elsewhere.   
In past years we’ve all seen weird numbers come out of the government and various agencies – numbers that did not feel right – only to see them revised a few months later.  So, gut instinct – yours and mine – should not be ignored.   This was a good shopping day and weekend here in Florida.   Want to share your weekend shopping experiences?  Use the comment section below.
Article and opinion by Craig L. Aberle
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