Adobe’s Holiday Report: Mobile Shopping Trends Your Brand Needs to Know



From the future of online shopping to the relevancy of holiday ads, Adobe’s report breaks down what you need to know.


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According to Adobe’s holiday shopping report, Black Friday 2019 brought in a total of $7.4 billion dollars in online sales. $2.9 billion derived from consumers making purchases via their smartphones making this year’s event the biggest U.S. mobile shopping day.

Let’s take a look at some of the key trends behind the report and what predictions the findings are pointing to for the years ahead:

The future of shopping is mobile

In terms of percentage, 39 percent of all e-commerce sales were made on smartphones translating to a 21 percent increase year-over-year. Even more so, the average order value saw spikes with the average recorded of $168, yet another record for the annual shopping event.

“With Christmas now rapidly approaching, consumers increasingly jumped on their phones rather than standing in line. Even when shoppers went to stores, they were now buying nearly 41 percent more online before going to the store to pick up,” said Adobe Digital Insights Head and Principal Analyst Taylor Schreiner.

Other stats supporting this trend include that Americans will spend $14 billion more this holiday on their phones compared to 2018 and that e-commerce growth now represents over half (63%) of overall retail growth. In addition, 50 percent of consumers are willingly choosing to shop on their phones even when a desktop is available to them. On Christmas Day specifically, consumers will purchase more from their phones than their desktop for the first time ever. All stats considered, smartphone shopping will be responsible for half of the increase in holiday shopping in 2019.

For brands, the ease and speed of consumers having this choice translates into more dollars per minute as the act of shopping becomes shorter in length in terms of the number of pages visited and time spent per visit. Time per visit has decreased by 11 percent since January of 2016, while the number of pages consumers browse through has decreased by 14 percent.

Online shopping is increasingly “social” and FOMO is real

Social media-driven traffic has spiked in share from 4 percent to 11 percent in just three years. This is a result of several factors including the rise of creators and influencers and the role of email and search. Fifty-seven percent of consumers report finding ideas for holiday purchases from social media and 20 percent say they’ve purchased a product based on an influencer’s recommendation.

Despite this, people still do their due diligence when it comes to researching what they purchase — they simply leave those heftier purchases and digging for their big desktop screens and leave their smaller, mindless purchasing for the phones. Per Adobe, the shopping carts we create on desktops are 28 percent more expensive than the ones on our smartphones.

When it comes to Cyber Monday, FOMO is a critical driver of sales. Per the report, during the “golden hours” of 7pm and 11pm PST conversions double resulting in roughly 30 percent of Cyber Monday’s revenue concentrating during this window.

Ads are seen as more inspiring and relevant during the holidays

Although absorbing a 23 percent increase in CPM for their holiday ads, Adobe assures that these budgets are well spent.

Half (50%) of consumers claim the ads they see during the holidays influence their purchasing decisions. Fifty-two percent report that holiday or seasonal ads are more appealing than ads they are exposed to throughout the rest of the year.

Aside from memorability and attracting eyeballs, consumers identify these ads as relevant and more aligned with their interests and needs. This was supported by the fact that forty-seven percent of people advised they are presented with more relevant ads during the holiday period compared to those encountered in other months.

The opportunity for small businesses lies in organic messaging

According to Adobe, this Black Friday was a success for e-commerce “giants,” which brought in more smartphone sales, 66 percent conversions on browsers on smartphones and a 62 percent boost in sales compared to 27 percent for smaller retailers.

That isn’t to say smaller retailers can’t compete. Adobe projects smaller retailers to catch up with early deals of their own as trends point to more companies adjusting for shorter holiday seasons with earlier sales.

This was witnessed with last year’s Amazon Prime Day and will continue to help less sizable companies who don’t have the luxury of paying to play when it comes to driving traffic. Rather, these companies will continue to gain traction by honing their organic messages and creating experiences that their larger counterparts simply can’t offer.


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