Three Key Ecommerce Trends

Posted on Tue, December 06, 2016 in by David Hughes

With the Thanksgiving holiday now behind us, it’s that time of year again to look at any trends coming out of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail “holidays.” All signs point to another record-breaking year for the weekend, with $3.45 billion in sales generated on Cyber Monday alone, a 12.1% jump over last year.

Beyond the continuing trend of consumers shifting more of their purchasing through digital channels, we’ve seen a few additional ecommerce trends as we head into 2017.

  • Black Friday could overtake Cyber Monday next year
  • Mobile sales surpassed the $1 billion threshold for sales in one day on Black Friday for the first time
  • Amazon is now largest retailer of apparel online

Black Friday Could Overtake Cyber Monday

While Cyber Monday continues to be the single largest day for ecommerce sales , Black Friday brought in $3.34 billion, the 21.6% year-over-year growth since 2015 means that Black Friday could eclipse Cyber Monday. If existing ecommerce growth trends continue, we’d project that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will generate $4.06 billion and $3.86 billion respectively in 2017.

As retailers move up the start of Black Friday earlier and earlier, it’s no surprise that more consumers will pass on the break-of-dawn wakeups in favor the comfort of their homes in their post-turkey haze.

Mobile Sales Broke $1 Billion in Single-day Sales on Black Friday

For the first time, more than $1 billion in mobile sales ($1.2 billion to be exact) was generated in a single day on Black Friday — a 33% increase over 2015 — and represented 36% of all sales that day.

Even though overall conversion rates on mobile continue to lag behind those on desktops and laptops, it’s clear that optimizing ecommerce experience for mobile sales and tablet experiences will be that much more important in 2017. Apple’s rollout of Apple Pay this year, which add to existing mobile-first payment options, only serve to lessen the barriers for users and we suspect to see more significant increases in mobile sales revenue for 2017.

Amazon Now Largest Retailer of Apparel Online

An unexpected retailer is cleaning up in apparel sales: Amazon. For the online reseller of absolutely everything else under the sun, Amazon generated $16.3 billion in clothing, more than Macy's, Nordstrom, Kohl's, Gap, and L Brands (owner of Victoria’s Secret) in the same period... combined! Now all that stands in their way of dominating apparel sales across all channels is Walmart.

In spite of the fact that buying clothes online presents its own issues of consumers not being able to try things on, liberal return/exchange policies, providing visibility to users as to how true-to-size (or not) products are, and aggressive pricing, it should be no surprise they’re doing so well.

They’ve also made some key investments in fashion by starting up their own private-label clothing brands (a la Amazon Basics) and sponsoring New York Men’s Fashion Week. Talent-wise, Amazon brought in executives from Barneys New York and former editors at Vogue to consult on overall strategy.

The strategy seems to be working: while Nordstrom, Sears, Macy's, Kohl's, JCPenney, and Dillard's collectively lost $225 million in apparel sales this last year, Amazon reported increases of $1.1 billion.

While every other retail segment has been competing with the 800 lbs gorilla, Amazon, for years, it’s apparent that if clothing retailers small and large don’t have strategy for competing online, they need one.

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