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US Holiday Shopping Forecast:
Seven Key Trends That Will
Shape the Season
Andrew Lipsman
October 2019
Principal Analyst
eM...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
eMarketer 2019 Holiday
Forecast
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
We are forecasting the first ever $1 trillion holiday
shopping season
$862
$899
$948
$971
$1,008
$75...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
eMarketer forecasts 2019 holiday season retail sales to
grow at a healthy—if unspectacular—rate
+3.8...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
2019 growth rates mark an uptick from last year’s
surprising dip following two strong years
3.0%
4.2...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
eMarketer’s forecast puts us on the low end of the range
compared with other forecasts
• Deloitte an...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Macroeconomic and seasonal factors affecting our 2019
holiday season forecast are a mixed bag
• Cons...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Are tariffs a big issue? A majority of consumers will be
keeping a close eye on prices
• 54% of US i...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Mobile is by far the fastest growing retail commerce
channel
2.5%
4.3%
25.1%
Brick-and-Mortar Deskto...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Mcommerce will approach half of all ecommerce dollars
this season
19.7% 23.0% 27.4% 32.9% 38.1% 43.0...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Although a small slice of retail holidays sales, mobile
has a disproportionate impact on overall gro...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Thanksgiving, Black Friday
and Cyber Monday
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
The holiday calendar goes from 32 days to 26 days
between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year
Sun M...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Shoppers say they’ll begin searching for deals earlier,
but that doesn’t always happen
• Shoppers sa...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
The suggestion that ‘promotional creep’ is making
shopping holidays less important is not true
• The...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Cyber Five have been seeing well above average growth
rates
• According to Adobe,
Thanksgiving (+28....
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day in
history—but exactly how big can it get this ...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Seven Key Trends for the 2019
Holiday Shopping Season
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 1: The shortened calendar will create a shipping
crunch for delivery providers
• Delivery compan...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 2: Fast-and-free shipping benefits consumers and
unlocks ecommerce growth
• Holiday shopping
con...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 3: The biggest days, and retailers, will get even
bigger
• This season favors scale.
Amazon’s De...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 4: Click-and-collect surge will drive late season
gains
• With free shipping
almost universal,
t...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 4 (cont.): Click-and-collect surge will drive late
season gains
• Leading big box retailers
see ...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 5: Electronics and apparel will lead holiday
shopping—but new stars will shine
74%
66%
64%
63%
5...
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 6: D2C brands will take a bite out of holiday
stalwarts
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
No. 7: Digital ads move up—earlier in the season and
higher in the funnel
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Key Takeaways
© 2019 eMarketer Inc.
Key Takeaways
• Holiday spending growth will be solid, but unspectacular.
eMarketer’s forecast is on...
1
3 Tips to Capture More Holiday
Demand in 2019
Whelan Boyd Sr. Product Manager,Optimizely
We’re Proud to Work With Great Companies
24 of the Fortune 100 have chosen Optimizely to drive their digital experience
“Our success is a function of
how many experiments we do
per year, per month, per
week, per day.”
Jeff Bezos
“Our company ...
The anatomy of an experience
Frontend UI Backend Business
Logic & Data
i.e. cart, navigation,
search bar location
& visual...
Backend Business
Logic & Data
The anatomy of an experience
Frontend UI
Copy
Images &
Colors
Layout
i.e. cart, navigation,
...
6
Three ways experimentation + personalizationcan capture demand
Convert more visitors
Run experiments on the checkout pag...
7
Hudson’s Bay - Optimize the Checkout Process
8
Crate & Barrel - Personalize the experience
9
GAP - High Traffic & High Stakes
optimizely.com/digital-change-agents/
eMarketer Webinar - US Holiday Shopping Forecast 2019: 7 Key Trends That Will Shape the Season
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eMarketer Webinar - US Holiday Shopping Forecast 2019: 7 Key Trends That Will Shape the Season

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Despite continued strength in ecommerce spending this year, the 2019 Holiday Season will be challenging. The combination of greater economic headwinds and a highly compressed holiday calendar will make strong growth harder to come by.

In this Meet the Analyst webinar, eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman reveals our latest forecast numbers for total retail, ecommerce and mcommerce sales, and growth for the 2019 holiday season.

Join this webinar to learn:

A breakdown of eMarketer’s holiday shopping forecast
Unique shopping-day dynamics for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and which retailers are best positioned for success
Seven key trends that will shape the 2019 holiday season
Plus! Whelan Boyd, senior product manager at Optimizely, joins the conversation

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eMarketer Webinar - US Holiday Shopping Forecast 2019: 7 Key Trends That Will Shape the Season

  1. 1. US Holiday Shopping Forecast: Seven Key Trends That Will Shape the Season Andrew Lipsman October 2019 Principal Analyst eMarketer’s Meet the Analyst Webinar
  2. 2. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. eMarketer 2019 Holiday Forecast
  3. 3. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. We are forecasting the first ever $1 trillion holiday shopping season $862 $899 $948 $971 $1,008 $750 $800 $850 $900 $950 $1,000 $1,050 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Holiday Season Total US Retail Sales ($ Billions)
  4. 4. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. eMarketer forecasts 2019 holiday season retail sales to grow at a healthy—if unspectacular—rate +3.8% 2019 holiday season* total US retail sales growth * November-December time period
  5. 5. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. 2019 growth rates mark an uptick from last year’s surprising dip following two strong years 3.0% 4.2% 2.3% 4.3% 5.4% 2.4% 3.8% 12.3% 14.3% 13.8% 16.4% 16.3% 10.8% 13.2% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Y/Y US Holiday SeasonGrowth Rate by Channel Total Retail Ecommerce
  6. 6. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. eMarketer’s forecast puts us on the low end of the range compared with other forecasts • Deloitte and AlixPartners currently have the most bullish holiday retail forecasts. • Deloitte is also on the top end for ecommerce growth. Source Total Retail Ecommerce NRF 3.8-4.2% 11-14% Deloitte 4.5-5% 14-18% Coresight Research 4.0% n/a AlixPartners 4.4-5.3% n/a Forrester n/a 12.7% Salesforce n/a 13.0% Comparative Estimates Holiday Retail and Ecommerce Forecasts
  7. 7. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Macroeconomic and seasonal factors affecting our 2019 holiday season forecast are a mixed bag • Consumer spending trends remain solid • Unemployment at record lows • Sentiment remains high • Stock market near highs • Gas prices kept in check • Favorable comps vs. 2018 • Tariffs and trade wars • Leading indicators on the decline • Sentiment and stock market are more wobbly • Short season between Thanksgiving and Christmas Positive Factors Negative Factors
  8. 8. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Are tariffs a big issue? A majority of consumers will be keeping a close eye on prices • 54% of US internet users are concerned about the impact of tariffs–2x that of those who aren’t concerned
  9. 9. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Mobile is by far the fastest growing retail commerce channel 2.5% 4.3% 25.1% Brick-and-Mortar Desktop Ecommerce Mobile Commerce Holiday Season 2019 US Sales Growth by Channel • Mcommerce is expected to grow about 6x that of desktop ecommerce and 10x that of brick-and-mortar
  10. 10. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Mcommerce will approach half of all ecommerce dollars this season 19.7% 23.0% 27.4% 32.9% 38.1% 43.0% 47.5% 80.3% 77.0% 72.6% 67.1% 61.9% 57.0% 52.5% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 US Holiday Ecommerce Share by Platform Mobile Commerce Desktop Ecommerce
  11. 11. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Although a small slice of retail holidays sales, mobile has a disproportionate impact on overall growth 86.6% 57.2% 7.1% 7.9% 6.4% 34.9% % of Sales % Growth Contribution US Holiday Season Sales by Channel Mobile Desktop In-Store
  12. 12. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  13. 13. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. The holiday calendar goes from 32 days to 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 2018 2019
  14. 14. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Shoppers say they’ll begin searching for deals earlier, but that doesn’t always happen • Shoppers say they will make earlier holiday purchases. • But only 1 in 3 consumers is even aware of the short calendar.
  15. 15. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. The suggestion that ‘promotional creep’ is making shopping holidays less important is not true • The key holiday shopping days keep getting more important. • Comscore data shows that the Cyber Six period (Thanksgiving through Cyber Tuesday) keeps gaining share of ecommerce holiday sales.
  16. 16. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Cyber Five have been seeing well above average growth rates • According to Adobe, Thanksgiving (+28.0%) outperformed season benchmark (+16.5%) by the most. • All other days during Cyber Five were at least a few points ahead of pace.
  17. 17. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day in history—but exactly how big can it get this year? $10B?
  18. 18. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Seven Key Trends for the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season
  19. 19. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 1: The shortened calendar will create a shipping crunch for delivery providers • Delivery companies had exceptional on- time deliveries in 2018–but need to be careful this year as the Thanksgiving to Christmas shopping period shrinks from 32 to 26 days.
  20. 20. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 2: Fast-and-free shipping benefits consumers and unlocks ecommerce growth • Holiday shopping continues to trend toward ubiquity of free shipping. • The new battleground will be speed, with emergence of next-day and same-day shipping at Amazon and others.
  21. 21. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 3: The biggest days, and retailers, will get even bigger • This season favors scale. Amazon’s December dominance should exceed past years. • Cyber Monday will explode, but so too will Black Friday and Super Saturday, with the stakes raised for each individual shopping day.
  22. 22. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 4: Click-and-collect surge will drive late season gains • With free shipping almost universal, timeliness and package security become the most important drivers for click-and-collect.
  23. 23. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 4 (cont.): Click-and-collect surge will drive late season gains • Leading big box retailers see ecommerce share gains in the days before Christmas and should get an added boost this year.
  24. 24. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 5: Electronics and apparel will lead holiday shopping—but new stars will shine 74% 66% 64% 63% 59% 51% 49% 49% 45% 44% Clothing & Apparel Toys & Video Games Food & Liquor Gift cards/certificates Shoes & Accessories Health & Beauty Electronics Books Jewelry Entertainment $184 $141 $147 $180 $122 $84 $276 $64 $258 $107 Buyer Penetration Spending per Buyer Planned Holiday Spending by Category Source: MiQ
  25. 25. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 6: D2C brands will take a bite out of holiday stalwarts
  26. 26. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. No. 7: Digital ads move up—earlier in the season and higher in the funnel
  27. 27. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Key Takeaways
  28. 28. © 2019 eMarketer Inc. Key Takeaways • Holiday spending growth will be solid, but unspectacular. eMarketer’s forecast is on the low-end of the range. • Mobile will drive almost half of ecommerce and fuel the continued double-digit growth in online sales. • The shorter calendar looms over everything and the fundamentals favor the biggest retailers. • Marketers will need to be more strategic to stand out amid the competition this season—but there are opportunities!
  29. 29. 1 3 Tips to Capture More Holiday Demand in 2019 Whelan Boyd Sr. Product Manager,Optimizely
  30. 30. We’re Proud to Work With Great Companies 24 of the Fortune 100 have chosen Optimizely to drive their digital experience
  31. 31. “Our success is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day.” Jeff Bezos “Our company culture encourages experimentation and free flow of ideas.” Larry Page “We use experimentation and testing to inform as much of the business as we possibly can” - Gregory Peters, CPO Today’s DigitalLeaders Win By Using Experimentation At-Scale
  32. 32. The anatomy of an experience Frontend UI Backend Business Logic & Data i.e. cart, navigation, search bar location & visual treatment Copy Images & Colors Layout Search algorithms Cross-sell products Algorithmic product recommendations Personalized hero content
  33. 33. Backend Business Logic & Data The anatomy of an experience Frontend UI Copy Images & Colors Layout i.e. cart, navigation, search bar location information location & visual treatment Segment-based offers and pricing models Personalized hero content Deals, catalog, & product sorting Search algorithms Voice prompts to improve conversion
  34. 34. 6 Three ways experimentation + personalizationcan capture demand Convert more visitors Run experiments on the checkout page Increase average order value Use personalization + recommendations to increase basket size Optimize on peak traffic days Collaborate on changes and ‘hot fixes’
  35. 35. 7 Hudson’s Bay - Optimize the Checkout Process
  36. 36. 8 Crate & Barrel - Personalize the experience
  37. 37. 9 GAP - High Traffic & High Stakes
  38. 38. optimizely.com/digital-change-agents/

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