The Holiday Shopping Season


There’s always lots of buzz surrounding holiday shopping trends, and the impact that digital is making on them. There’s a new study from IBM that sheds lots of light on the state of digital shopping as reflected in the 2016 Holiday season. Entitled US Retail Online Holiday Shopping Recap Report 2015, the study summarizes online shopping data and analysis for the season. I urge you to download a free copy for yourself by visiting this page.

There were a number of great insights – a few of which I would like to encapsulate here.

Smartphone Shopping Ascendant: While people still buy more on desktop than smartphone, shopping time is higher on smartphones. In addition, purchases made on smartphone exceeded those made on tablets. This is more proof that the near continuous availability of a smartphone in our lives outweighs the shopping advantages of the larger tablet screen as you can access all shopping sites including shoppok.

This graphic shows how mobile’s role in shopping has exploded over the past several years.

IBM Mbile sales and traffic share versus desktop

Desktop Orders Still Tend to Be Larger: For November/December, IBM reports that desktop orders averaged about $137 versus about $107 for mobile. But the gap continues to close.

This infographic does a fantastic job of showing the relative importance of different screen types in key season metrics.

IBM MObile versus Desktop Shopping Graphic

We know that apps represent roughly 90% of connected time on mobile, so clearly apps are playing a big role in the new ways that people shop. Looking at Apsalar data, we see a massive increase in retail app marketing activity in the three key category areas:

  • Retail App Installs
  • Re-engagement Events
  • More Granular Event Tracking


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