5 Predictions for the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

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Posted by Craig Maloney | November 13, 2017 | Filed under: CMO Articles

5 Predictions for the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

The holiday season provides consumers with countless choices for where, when, and how they purchase seasonal gifts—and it’s vitally important for CMOs and other marketing decision-makers to be actively influencing these choices, leveraging holiday shopping traffic to improve their bottom line.

And certainly, opportunities abound. In recent years, holiday buying trends have been increasingly favorable to marketers, ever more profitable for e-commerce stores, and progressively fruitful for brands in general. The question is, will these positive trends continue in 2017?

According to recent reporting from Adobe, the answer is a resounding yes. They’ve just released their yearly holiday shopping predictions, and we’re here to recap their findings—offering up some useful insights for CMOs everywhere.

First Prediction: 2017 Will be the First Holiday Shopping Season to Surpass $100 Billion in Online Sales

According to the report, Adobe “predicts online holiday sales will reach $107.4 billion, which is a 13.8 percent increase from the same period last year.”

Though the growth rate has actually slowed a bit in recent years, it’s still in the double digits—and more to the point, perhaps, it’s dramatically outpaced growth in overall retail sales, which is projected to be less than four percent this year.

Also worth noting: According to Adobe’s survey, close to a third of all shoppers plan to spend more money online this year.

The implications for marketers? It’s important to be ready for an influx in holiday traffic, and to provide a seamless user experience that guides each shopper through a delightful buying journey. Even a tiny bump in the road could result in a lost sale.

Second Prediction: Consumers Will Be Seeking Big Bargains

Adobe also predicts that, more than ever before, consumers will be judicious about the online bargains they seek—and savvy retailers will rise to the occasion. “More than half (51 percent) said they plan to offer Black Friday promotions, while a third (33 percent) plan to offer online door-crashers or major coupons,” the report finds.

Typically, the holidays find online shoppers buying more products at lower price points—meaning total units sold tend to surge at a much higher rate than overall revenue growth.

Again, the implication for marketers is all about consumer experience. Make it easy for consumers to find the deals they’re after, especially during the season’s prime shopping days.

Third Prediction: Large Retailers Will Rake in the Majority of Online Spending

Adobe finds that large retailers grew their revenues by twice as much as other retailers during the early months of 2017. As a result, these bigger companies are expected to receive the majority of online shopping revenues this holiday season.

This may seem like demoralizing news for smaller brands, though it doesn’t have to: Adobe also notes that smaller brands tend to have the highest mobile conversion rates, and there are always opportunities for smaller retailers to exploit.

Mobile Users Will Account for More Than Half of All Online Retail Visits

Fourth Prediction: Mobile Users Will Account for More Than Half of All Online Retail Visits

“While desktop purchases still account for two-thirds of revenue year-round, mobile is often the starting point for many shoppers,” the report finds. Adobe “predicts that consumers will visit retailer websites from their mobile devices more than from their desktops this holiday season.”

Again, for marketers, the focus should be on consumer experience. Remember that a lot of your sales will come from mobile devices, so ensuring a smooth, streamlined, and convenient mobile shopping journey is crucial. Ensure that your mobile shoppers are delighted by their experience at every step of the way.

One specific thing marketers can do is to appeal to loyal customers through store-specific apps—allowing for a truly personalized shopping experience.

Fifth Prediction: Nostalgia Will Be a Big Factor

A final prediction from Adobe: Don’t underestimate the influence of nostalgia—especially in toy purchases.

Certainly, throwback toys—the Nintendo Classic systems, Teddy Ruxpin, and others—are already generating a lot of social media buzz. The toys that have an old-school flair are the ones predicted to dominate this year.

Final Thoughts for Marketing Professionals

The holiday shopping season is always a window for brands to drive strong end-of-year sales—but to capitalize on all these opportunities, a smart marketing strategy is key. We’ve mentioned already that user experience is a big factor. Having a positive branded presence throughout the consumer journey should be the big seasonal focus of CMOs.

That’s something EverythingOnline can help with. We are a leading Orange County SEO agency, and we’d love to help you produce big results this holiday season. Reach out to EverythingOnline to start a conversation.


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