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The 5 Most Surprising Stats of the 2013 Holiday Season

By Netta Kelvis, head of marketing, Custora

[Editor’s Note: Custora has released its Holiday 2013 E-Commerce Recap, which is based on the company’s real-time dashboard aggregating data from over 100 U.S. retailers. Here's a blog post by Custora’s head on marketing summarizing the recap's highlights.]  

1. E-commerce was the shining star in a ho-hum holiday retail season. While overall (online and offline) U.S. retail growth during the holiday season is estimated to be 4.1% over 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales grew 12% year over year.

2. The Mid-West continues to click, claiming the biggest regional growth. The season’s growth wasn’t uniform across the country. Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska led the charge with 18% average revenue growth over 2012. Mature markets grew at a slower pace, with California sales growing only 6% versus 2012, and New York revenue actually shrinking 2% over last year.

3. Mobile commerce is exploding. Share of mobile purchases grew by 50% this holiday season: Almost one-in-three purchases were made on a mobile device (phone or tablet) during the holiday season, up from one- in-five in 2012.

4. Email and search are key to e-commerce success. Google is still the gatekeeper to online shopping, with over 40% of e-commerce orders originating on organic search (26%) and paid search/SEM (15%). Email Marketing accounted for 16% of e-commerce orders.

5. Social commerce isn’t happening (yet?). Social networks (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) generated less than 2% of e-commerce sales during the holidays shopping season, same as in 2012.

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