2014 Desktop Online Holiday Sales Hit $53.3b; Overall 2014 Holiday Online Sales Up 13.9% [comScore & IBM]
The 2014 holiday season was a successful one for online retailers, as revealed by reports from comScore and IBM. Based on comScore’s report, covering November to December 2014, desktop online holiday sales hit $53.3 billion, exceeding 2013 sales by 15% year-over-year.
As shown in Figure 1 below, Thanksgiving had the highest year-over-year increase of 32% from $766 million in 2013 to $1.01 billion the following year. Black Friday and online Holiday Weekend sales (November 29-30) were tied at 26% year-over-year growth, with Black Friday sales rising to $1.5 billion and the Holiday Weekend to $2.01 billion. Cyber Monday alone increased 17% with $2.04 billion; however, the entire Thanksgiving weekend until Cyber Monday went up by 24%, from $5.3 billion in 2013 to $6.6 billion last year.
Cyber Monday ranked first in comScore’s “Top 10 Desktop Spending Days in 2014 Holiday Season,” totaling $2.04 million in desktop spending. Green Monday came in third with 1.62 million total sales, while Black Friday placed slightly below with $1.51 million. [See Figure 2]
comScore also revealed weekly figures for online holiday retail sales. As presented in Figure 3 below, Weeks 6 and 7 (covering December 7-14) had the highest desktop sales during the holidays for both 2013 and 2014. Sales were down by the end of December—a consistent trend since 2010.
“The 2014 online holiday shopping season was very strong overall as spending slightly exceeded our fairly optimistic forecast heading into the season,” said comScore founder Gian Fulgoni. In the press release published on January 7, 2015, he explained that despite the shortened holiday calendar and the issues faced by Americans last year, they “proved resilient and flexed their spending muscle online [in 2014].”
According to Fulgoni, American consumers were motivated to spend during the holiday season due to the “[increase in] positive consumer sentiment, [improvement in] job growth and [decline in] gas prices,” despite the fairly recent financial crisis. Moreover, Fulgoni notes that comScore saw growth rates in the mid-double digits as online channels continued to gain meaningful share from brick-and-mortar.
In a separate report by IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark covering November to December 2014, aggregate holiday online sales also increased by 13.9% year-over-year. Of this percentage, 77.3% is credited to desktop with an average order value (AOV) of $125.12. This is higher compared to mobile sales, which accounted for 22.6% of total online sales. Mobile’s AOV is also 19.4% lower than that of desktop, with $104.82. Furthermore, IBM also reported that desktop traffic accounted for 54.8% of total online traffic in 2014, while mobile traffic claimed 45%.
The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark Hub was published on January 5, 2015, which studied U.S. online shopping transactions for the report.
What are your thoughts on the 2014 online holiday sales reports released by comScore and IBM?
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