bii holiday retail spending forecastBI Intelligence

KEY POINTS

  • E-commerce sales will rise during the holiday shopping season. We estimate that in the US, nearly $100 billion worth of goods will be purchased online in the final holiday quarter of 2014, a 16% increase over the same quarter last year. That's roughly four times faster than retail sales as a whole. 
  • Mobile commerce is the breakout trend in retail. Purchases made using a smartphone or tablet rose 48% year over year in the second quarter, to about $8 billion. That's three times faster than desktop-based e-commerce and the fastest increase in mobile commerce spending since the first quarter of 2012. 
    • In the fourth quarter, we expect 31% year-over year growth in mobile commerce. In that quarter, 13% of e-commerce sales will come from purchases made on smartphones or tablets.
  • Mobile is a powerful engine for offline and online sales. More than 60% of US web traffic on the nine largest retail websites in July 2014 came from users on mobile devices, according to comScore.
  • The influence of the online channel extends to offline sales. The majority of all consumer purchases are influenced by online research or occur online, according to Forrester.
  • Traditional retailers have made big strides in e-commerce. Growth in e-commerce sales finally stabilized in the second quarter of 2014 at an average of 22% YoY at top retailers, including Nordstrom, Gap, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and JCPenney. That means those retailers are growing faster than the e-commerce industry at-large.
  • Mobile allows traditional retailers a chance to catch up in e-commerce. Using smartphones and tablets as shopping devices is a relatively new trend, and legacy retailers are using it to catch up to the original e-commerce giants. For example, Target's audience is more mobile-centric now than even Amazon's.
  • Watch for Google, Amazon, and other tech companies to have a greater presence this holiday season when it comes to delivering packages. Both FedEx and UPS have already committed to hiring 145,000 seasonal workers for the holiday months this year to meet online shipping demand, but Amazon and Google are moving to handle more of their [...]