Adobe: Online holiday revenues hit record high amid surging mobile growth

Adobe has released its final recap of online spending for the 2017 holiday season, and the results testify to the growing popularity of mobile commerce.

Online sales hit a record $108.2 billion for the combined November to December period, up 14.7% over last year and slightly over 2016’s 14.4% growth, according to Adobe 2017 Online Shopping Holiday Report. Revenue from mobile totaled $35.9 billion, making up 33.1% of online revenue during the holiday season, with 28% year-over-year revenue growth. (Adobe’s retail report measures 80% percent of online transactions at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers.)

Additional insights from Adobe’s report include:

• Search, email led as retail promotion drivers: Search drove the most revenue during the holiday season at 44.8% (natural search at 21.3% and paid search at 23.5%).

• Big retailers won big, but small retailers were competitive on Thanksgiving weekend: Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the average daily growth rate for medium-to-large retailers is 30% less than smaller retailers per year. During the full holiday season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31), the average daily growth rate for medium-to-large retailers is 2.3 times that of smaller retailers per year. Large retailers’ average order value volume (AOV) is 2 times more than smaller retailers during the Thanksgiving weekend. Smaller retailers have an advantage in converting visits to purchases during that weekend, especially on mobile devices.

• Retailers’ success early in the year predicts Thanksgiving gains: Retailers that grew more than 10% in the first half of the year saw revenue increases of 2.1 times over the average retailer on Thanksgiving weekend. In comparison, retailers that struggled early in the year stayed even with last year’s performance.

• The largest markets drove the most online shopping growth: On average, large markets will see about 15–20% more growth per household during the Thanksgiving weekend than markets half their size. Two-million-person markets will grow 15–20% faster than 1-million-person markets, and 4-million-person markets will grow 15–20% faster yet, etc.

Fast-growing populations, high levels of international migration and younger populations were also associated with fastest growing e-commerce sales. DMAs with the fastest online sales growth during the holiday shopping weekend include: San Antonio, Orlando and Charlotte. DMAs with slowest growth include: Cleveland, Kansas City and Baltimore.

• Record spend during Thanksgiving weekend: Revenue between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday totaled $19.6 billion, a 15.2% increase year-over-year. Black Friday ($5.0 billion) and Cyber Monday ($6.6 billion) steadily increased in importance since 2013. Black Friday 2017 represented 21% more of the shopping season in 2017 (4.6%) than it did in 2013 (3.8%).

Cyber Monday 2017 represented 15% more of the shopping season in 2017 (6.1%) than it did in 2013 (5.3%).

• Cyber Monday and Black Friday were massive mobile days: Over $7 billion was spent on tablets or smartphones between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday ($2.1 billion on tablets, $4.9 billion on smartphones). Mobile drove 52% of visits and 36% of revenue during that period. Smartphone transactions closed at a 14.2% higher rate year-over-year and smartphone AOV increased 1.9%year-over-year between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

For purchases made on smartphones, the average visit from an Apple iOS device led Android by $0.58. Cyber Monday saw the first-ever mobile shopping day over $2 billion, with 30.4% of the day’s revenue from mobile devices. Thanksgiving was the most mobile day with 41% share ($1.2 billion spent on mobile devices).