With the Holiday season just around the corner, Adobe predicts Cyber Monday will become the leading online shopping day for 2012.
Adobe released the projected shopping data in its "Adobe Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast." The digital index looked at over 150 billion website visits to over 500 Adobe retail customers within a six year time span. With this compiled data it determined holiday shopping trends for both the United States and Europe for 2012.
The shopping season is a bit longer in Europe, as it starts in early November, than in the United States, which starts this Friday. Even so, there are four key online shopping days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday and Free Shipping Day.
Each of these days presents shoppers with an alternative to waiting in store lines as they can get similar deals and savings from the comfort of their own home. Adobe predicts that overall online sales will steadily improve this year, with Cyber Monday being at the forefront.
Shopping Before December
Traditionally, Black Friday has been the highest grossing shopping day for the holiday season, but due to the influx of e-Commerce and the creation of days geared towards these types of shoppers, its lead is falling. Marketing Manger for Adobe's Digital Index, Matt Langie spoke with CMSWire about these trends.
“Despite what people may be seeing in the broader economic news, the online environment continues to perform,” he says.
Adobe says sales on Cyber Monday will grow 18 percent from 2011, totaling US$ 2 billion in sales over the 24 hour period.
Even with Cyber Monday in the lead, Black Friday is expected to still maintain a good standing in terms of its online sales. According to the report, it could be the second largest shopping day of 2012, rising 12 percent from last year.
The Days in December
Black Friday has not only been joined by Cyber Monday in recent years, but also by two other days geared at last minute shoppers: Green Monday on December 10, and Free Shipping day on December 17. Even though they are both only a few years old, being created in 2007 and 2008 respectively, they are becoming important for online holiday shoppers.
Green Monday, the second Monday in December, is a term coined by eBay. This year it is to have an increase of seven percent in sales compared to their 2011 numbers. Whereas, Free Shipping Day, which promises shoppers to have all orders delivered by Christmas Eve, is expected to improve by 12 percent.
“We project it will be a toss up between Black Friday and Free Shipping Day as the second largest shopping day of the year,” says Langie
He says that this battle for second place is due to December 17 being on a Monday, which has typically been one of the busiest online shopping days of the week.
It’s All About Technology
As in recent years, technology has influenced online shopping. Based on Adobe’s findings, the company expects that a significant amount of customers will shop from a tablet or mobile device. According to the report, mobile shopping will be 21 percent of online sales, an increase of 110 percent from 2011. Tablets will be at 13.5 percent and e-Readers round off the statistics at one percent.
On these key days, Adobe also projects that social media will play an important role in what customers buy. Social media influence is suspected to increase by 50 percent, with most of this traffic coming from the content sharing website, Pinterest.
“Pintrest is expected to grow the most ... but in total Facebook and Twitter compose about 76 percent of social reach,” says Langie.
Overall, Langie says that online shopping throughout the holiday season is something that will continue to improve over time: “I think it is related to changing behaviours of consumers being more cognitive or aware of online sales opportunities and offers."
Five Tips for Holiday Shopping
With all of this in mind, there are key things that shoppers should remember this holiday season.
- Don’t put all your eggs in once basket. If you can divide your spending between all four key shopping days then you can benefit and save more than if you only shop on one day. For example, If you notice that an item has high shipping charges and the online store utilizes Free Shipping Day, wait until that day to buy it.
- Be smart. Use online price comparison tools such as PriceBlink or the eBay sidebar to find the best deal for you.
- Make a list before hand. Even though you have an entire day to shop and don’t have to wait in store lines, you can shop more efficiently and more quickly with a list.
- Be wary of scams. Only buy products from trusted websites and if you’re unsure about the website in question, see if you can get the item somewhere else.
- Fill up your cart early. If you are shopping on a site that only has a limited number of items, such as Etsy, make sure that you have these items ready to go as soon as the sales start.