The festive season is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding time in multichannel commerce.
Last month, the internet was awash once more with statistics and trends that dig right down into understanding how consumers are shopping at Christmas, and how merchants are striving for their engagement and cash.
As always, our Internet Statistics Compendium collects the best digital stats from around the globe and across the online and mobile landscape.
Today, I have collected the top five that really piqued my interest over the Christmas period and thought I’d try and sum up why these data points might be valuable to marketers and digital types going on into 2015.
1. Amazon breaks more records
On Boxing Day Amazon released its annual post-Christmas success breakdown, this year seeing a further 10m new consumers trying out its Prime service and reaching customers in 185 countries.
The ecommerce giant also continues to push the limits in terms of fulfilling deliveries to within hours of Christmas Day, with a Prime Now order being placed at 10:24pm on December 24th and being delivered by 11:06pm.
2. Abandonment remains prevalent, even when customers might seem extra keen to convert
In early December Barilliance published an interesting infographic detailing cart abandonment and conversion rates on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two days when we might expect consumers to be more likely to convert than they are the rest of the time.
The personalization specialist found that the global average cart abandonment rate was 65% for these two dates, not too dissimilar to what we see the rest of the year.
But there were some intriguing variations across markets and channels, with Spanish mobile abandonment rates hitting as high as 89% and Australian desktop rates averaging a more respectable 64%.
3. Mobile and desktop help overall US Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping grow by 4% on 2013
Data released by comScore had some great insight into the importance of mobile to the ecommerce landscape on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – as well as the overall impact digital commerce is having on US holiday shopping altogether.
Of these three key days, mobile boasted its biggest share on Thanksgiving – eating into 26% of online shopping spending at $361m.
Cyber Monday saw double the amount of digital spend, however, with $548m going through mobile (21% of all ecommerce spend) and more than $2bn going through desktop.
4. More mobile attention from Akamai
Cloud computing provider Akamai had more to say on the increasing importance of mobile over the Thanksgiving weekend in the US.
Overall Akamai’s data saw a 5% shift from desktop to mobile usage for the five-day Thanksgiving period year-over-year.
For them, mobile usage peaked at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day when 50% of ecommerce activity came from these devices. Big US names such as Walmart and JCPenney saw mobile boast an even larger share during this period.
5. 31% of British online Christmas shoppers experienced problems with their orders this Christmas
While mobile-friendly merchants may have seen more spend from consumers, and big names such as Amazon and Walmart are seeing continued growth in their appeal to global consumers, JDA highlighted that many UK shoppers didn’t have perfect online experiences this year.
Nearly one in three British shoppers reported problems, with 45% of these saying their deliveries were late or they never came. Additionally, nearly half (49%) of those that had problems simply said they missed deliveries.
On the flipside, 39% of British shoppers used click & collect services and many had a positive response to this delivery option. 34% of these shoppers said they would use these services more next Christmas.
Broadly speaking, 2014 saw another successful Christmas period for sellers who have worked hard to make their wares accessible on mobile, and to ensure the customer journey is seamless across desktops and smaller devices.
Fulfilment-wise, we can see from Amazon’s impressive performance and JDA’s data that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in a variety of delivery options.
Amazon is seeing great success with Prime and the even more customer-focused Prime Now service, while click & collect is proving a big hit in the UK – especially as many consumers continue to be less than satisfied when deliveries arrive at inappropriate times, turn up late or get lost altogether.
These five data points reinforce the notion that while customer experience up to checkout is essential to get right, fulfilment options and ensuring items are delivered as expected is especially important during the hectic Christmas period.