What’s Happened So Far in the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season?

The 2017 holiday shopping season started with a bang.  According to data collected by Adobe Analytics, consumers have already spent an estimated $65.15 billion during the 2017 holiday shopping season.  And of that $65.15 billion, over $1 billion per day since the start of the season has been transacted online.  If that pace keeps up, Adobe predicts that holiday spending will reach the $100 billion mark for 2017.

Related: Adobe: Holiday season ringing up $1 billion online daily

With that much sales volume already taking place, there’s a ton that we’ve already learned about what’s happening in retail during the 2017 holiday shop-a-thon.  So what do we know so far that’s surprising, interesting, or even actionable for next year?  Here’s a hit list:

Online and mobile sales are breaking records left and right

Online transactions are already generating a staggering $1 billion per day, and it all started with Cyber Monday.  In 2017, Cyber Monday had the highest shopping volume ever, racking up $6.59 billion in sales.  Last year’s total was $5.6 billion.

Mobile took a huge share of Cyber Monday’s online sales, accounting for $2 billion of the total $6.59 billion.  That’s the biggest recorded mobile shopping day in history!

Related: Cyber Monday breaks online record — so does mobile

And according to predictions from Adobe, mobile revenue as a share of total online revenue is expected to encompass 34 percent of total online sales.  Watch for continued mobile growth as a share of total online holiday sales in the coming years.


Credit card fraud is down significantly – so far…

It might seem that the surge in online sales would cause an accompany increase in credit card fraud, but that’s not true this year (so far, anyway).  According to iovation, an authentication and fraud prevention provider, credit card fraud dropped by 29 percent from 2016, over the four-day holiday shopping weekend that includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Related: Online Retail Credit Card Fraud Drops 29 Percent For the First Time in Years During Black Friday and Cyber Monday


Unlikely retailers made some big gains on Black Friday

Who’d have thought that home project tools and equipment would be such a popular sale item during the holiday season?  Online tire retailer Build.com can attest to a sales boom this holiday season.

In advance of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend, Build.com poured resources into their online shopping experience, by launching a new credit program that provided its customers with flexible payment options to make those big ticket purchases.  This investment paid off with ticket sizes tripling since program launch in November.

Related: Build.com Introduces Private Label Financing: Sees Ticket Sizes Triple in First Week


Holiday shoppers are increasingly purchasing online and picking up in-store.

The practice of stealing packages from unsuspecting consumers, aptly-named “porch piracy”, is an unfortunate side-effect of the holiday shopping surge.  And all kinds of folks try to offer solutions – from businesses that will accept deliveries on your behalf and deliver them when you’re home, to police departments that accept packages to reduce complaints of theft.

Although theft may not be the primary reason, consumers are shifting their behavior to BOPIS, or buy online, pickup in store.  A recent JDA survey reports that more than 50 percent of holiday shoppers have used the BOPIS option to make a holiday purchase this year, up by 44 percent from a survey conducted in 2015.

Related: More holiday shoppers are rushing to the store to pick up online orders. That’s a good thing

Holiday 2017 is one for the history books.  What will happen next?

Let’s face it: we’ll be talking about the massive sales volumes of the 2017 holiday shopping season for years to come.  It could be the first of many $100 billion seasons, or the last year mobile sales lag behind desktop sales.

What significant events do you think will happen next during holiday shop-a-thon 2017?

by Veronika Clough

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