This is Part 1 of a multi-part blog series intended to provide you with information you need to succeed during the upcoming holiday season. So just sit tight and follow this series for tips you can put to use immediately to help ensure you avoid glitches this holiday season. And when you do make use of those tips and achieve holiday season success, don’t forget to share your stories with us.
To truly prepare for the holiday season, you must first understand the enormity of the business opportunity the holiday season represents for any internet retailer. In 2013, Cyber Monday alone presented a revenue potential of $1.74 billion (Yes, billion with a “B”). Black Friday presented the potential of *another* $ 1 billion just from Americans! So while it may have already been obvious to you that the holiday season is prime time for making some extra $’s, I believe these figures give you some sense of scale regarding just how much “some extra $’s” can equate to.
If the previous numbers didn’t excite you, consider this. Consumer spending not only continues to increase on a year-over-year basis, but also on an hourly basis for the past few years during the holidays. For instance, Thanksgiving online sales per hour grew by 18% year-over-year in 2013. BlackFriday was much more impressive as retailers managed to pull in a 39% year-over-year growth. 18%-39% year- over-year growth is certain to make virtually any business owner or investor salivate! But, to really capitalize on this growth, we first need to understand what is driving this growth. Obviously this increase in spending has been driven by the increased number of consumers who are moving to online shopping every year, as researching and buying on the web is more convenient than visiting brick-and-mortar stores. For instance, retailers experienced a 20% increase in traffic during Thanksgiving in 2013 over 2012 and on BlackFriday there was an upswing of 17% in internet traffic.
Given this sample of the data (and there is a *lot* more supporting data scattered around the web if you’re not yet convinced), the gains in online revenue during the holiday season are not only driven by increased site traffic, but also by new highs achieved in “Average Order Value” and “Items per Order” every year. What this means is that not only increased number of customers are shopping online during the holiday season, but these customers are willing to buy more quantities and spend more while placing an order. Over the next part of this blog, we will analyze the challenges e-retailers face while converting these potential customers into paying customers. Also, we will examine numerous steps retailers can take to ensure their sites are adequately prepared for the upcoming holiday season.
Check out the other posts in this 5 part series!