Online Christmas trends: November 25th first big online shopping day

07/11/2014

The first spike in online Christmas shopping in the UK will be November 25th with a projected spend of £208 million, a 51% increase over an average day’s online sales, according to a new report.

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The finding form part of Adobe’s Digital Index 2014 Online Holiday Shopping Forecast which predicts this year’s Christmas shopping season’s peaks and trends.

The predictions are based on the analysis of more than a trillion visits over the last seven years to more than 4,500 retail websites.

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Key global findings:

• Mobile continues to grow faster in Europe than in US with 38% growth rate, compared to 25% growth in US

• First spike in online Christmas shopping in the UK will be November 25th

• 24% of online sales in the UK during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet

• One fifth (21%) of the UK’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas period (November and December).

View some key slides from the full report below:

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Analysis

In Europe, the company’s data analysis predicts 19.3 percent of total online sales for the year will come during the Christmas shopping season, a 10% year-over-year (YoY) increase.

US retailers are much more dependent on the holiday shopping season, taking in 27% of the year’s total online sales in November and December.

Mobile is Growing Faster in Europe

Mobile Christmas shopping (from a tablet or smartphone) is projected to grow faster in Europe (38% projected growth rate) than in the US (25% projected growth rate), with Denmark projected to see the most amount of growth in mobile Christmas shopping at 56%.

Despite Denmark’s impressive growth, the UK will once again have a higher percentage of mobile shoppers than any other European country evaluated this Christmas season, with 24% of online sales, or about one in every four online transactions, coming from mobile.

Norway comes in second with 21% of online Christmas sales forecast to come from mobile, while Sweden will take third place with a projected total of 19.5% of all online Christmas sales coming from mobile.

By way of comparison, the US is projected to have 18.5% of online Christmas sales coming from mobile.

“Last year’s report showed strong growth in mobile across Europe, a trend that continues this year. Growth in smartphone traffic was especially robust with a growth rate of 72%, more than double the 30% growth in tablet traffic, certainly aided by the increased screen sizes on smartphones,” said Mark Zablan, President of EMEA, Adobe. “The continued strong growth in mobile traffic coupled with the emergence of mobile beacons and mobile payments, means European retailers must deploy the right strategies and technologies to create meaningful and relevant mobile experiences for their customers.”

When Do Europeans Start Shopping Online for the Christmas?

The Norwegians kick off their Christmas shopping the earliest, with their season’s first big spike in online shopping projected to occur on November 2nd (a 127% increase over the average daily online shopping figures).

The Finish and Danish closely follow by starting their shopping online on November 3rd (with a projected 134% increase over the average daily online sales) and November 6th (with a projected 100% increase over the average daily online sales), respectively.

The Swedes don’t share their Nordic neighbours’ early Christmas shopping habits, however, with their first online shopping spike not occurring until November 25th with a 70% increase over average daily online sales.

November 25th was the latest spike date identified among the 11 European countries evaluated, with the Dutch, the British and the French also not spiking in online shopping sales until then. The Belgians are also late shoppers, not hitting their first spike in online Christmas shopping until November 24th. As a reminder, the first spike in Christmas online shopping sales is NOT the same as the peak, or largest, day in Christmas online shopping sales. The first spike is meant to measure when a country’s residents BEGIN their Christmas shopping online.

When Do Online Christmas Sales Peak?

Germany will have the largest peak online shopping day in Europe with a total projected spend of £345 million on December 8th. France comes in second place with a projected £301 million online spend on January 7th, 2015, which is the only peak Christmas shopping day of the 11 European countries analysed to fall outside of December. The UK rounds out the top three with a projected online spend of £281 million on December 1st. Three countries – Finland, Denmark and Norway – all have peak online shopping days on December 11th. Switzerland and Austria will share December 8th with Germany as their peak online shopping day. Belgium and Sweden will share a peak online shopping day of December 15th. The Netherlands will have its peak online shopping day on December 10th.

Average Online Spend Per Person on Peak Online Christmas Shopping Days

Europeans on average will spend more online per person on their country’s largest online shopping day than will Americans. Europeans will spend £5.61 online per person and Americans will spend £5.08 per person on Cyber Monday (the US’s largest online shopping day, 1st December).

The Swedish top the chart with a whopping £8.16 spend per person on their largest online shopping day (15th December), followed closely by the Swiss at £7.82 per person on their largest online shopping day (8th December) and the Finnish at £7.74 per person (11th December). The Belgians come in at the lowest per person spend with £3.14 (15th December).

The online spend per person is calculated by dividing the total online spend projected to occur on the peak day by the country’s population.

When is The Best Time to Shop Online?

Adobe Digital Index was able to gather online pricing data for the UK and German markets to measure when consumers can expect to see the largest price drops. In Germany, the average product is marked down about 10% during most of November, but prices start to decrease at the beginning of December to nearly 20% off on average. Consumers can expect the lowest average price of the season just after Christmas, when the average price is 23% off normal and 5% of items are half off, giving consumers potentially great deals the last few days of the year.

Similar to Germany, in the United Kingdom, the average product is marked down 10% during November, and prices fall to 15% off on average at the beginning of December. However, prices hit their lowest levels a few days before Christmas, dropping to 25% off on average on December 24th, before prices gradually increase each day after. Some UK retailers will offer discounts of up to 60% off on December 24th, giving late shoppers something to smile about.

UK findings

The peak online Christmas shopping day is predicted to be December 1st (what’s now known as Cyber-Monday) with a projected spend of £281 million.

Britons are also starting their online Christmas shopping quite late compared to some European countries, with the Norwegians starting first, closely followed by the Finish and Danish, November 2nd and November 3rd respectively.

Other key UK stats include:

• One fifth (21%) of the UK’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas period (November and December).

• Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 14% in the UK

• Mobile Christmas sales: 24% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 28% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.

• Adobe has also revealed the best time to grab discounts - the average product is marked down 10% during November, and prices fall to 15% off on average at the beginning of December. However, prices hit their lowest levels a few days before Christmas, dropping to 25% off on average on December 24th, before prices gradually increase each day after. Some UK retailers will offer discounts of up to 60% off on December 24th, giving late shoppers something to smile about.

Additional Predictions and Findings around the 2014 Christmas Shopping Season in Europe

• Europe

o Total spend on day of first spike in online Christmas shopping: £0.88 billion (for an increase of 73% over the average day’s online sales)
o Average spend on Peak online Christmas shopping day: £122 million.
o Total spend on Peak online Christmas shopping day: £1.3 billion
o Average online spend per person on peak day: £5.61
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 16.5% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 38% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 19.3% of Europe’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so European retailers are reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 8.7% in Europe.

• United States

o Peak online holiday shopping day: December 1st (Cyber Monday) with a projected spend of £1.6 billion (up 15% YoY)
o Other significant online holiday shopping days: November 27th (Thanksgiving) with a projected spend of £0.85 billion (up 27% YoY) and November 28th (Black Friday) with a projected spend of £1.56 billion (up 28% YoY)
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 1st): £5.08
o Mobile online holiday sales: 18.5% of online sales during the holiday season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 25% increase over the 2013 holiday season; additionally, mobile share of online sales is expected to peak on Thanksgiving at 31% of all online sales.
o Importance of holiday sales to yearly totals: 27% of the yearly online sales in the US will occur during the holiday season. The holiday season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so US retailers are highly reliant on the holiday season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online holiday sales: Online holiday sales are projected to grow by 10% in the US.

• Austria

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 14th with a projected 46% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 8th with a projected spend of £58 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 8th): £6.75
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 11.5% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 29% increase over the 2013 holiday season.
o Importance of holiday sales to yearly totals: 18% of Austria’s yearly online sales will occur during the holiday season. The holiday season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Austrian retailers are not reliant on the holiday season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online holiday sales: Online holiday sales are projected to grow by 9% in Austria.
• Belgium
o First spike in online holiday shopping: November 24th with a projected 21% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online holiday shopping day: December 15th with a projected spend of £35 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 15th): £3.14
o Mobile online holiday sales: 12.9% of online sales during the holiday season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 44% increase over the 2013 holiday season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 17% of Belgium’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Belgian retailers are not reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 5% in Belgium.

• Denmark

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 6th with a projected 100% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 11th with a projected spend of £29 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 11th): £5.10
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 18.9% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 56% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 20% of Denmark’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Danish retailers are somewhat reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 8% in Denmark.

• Finland

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 3rd with a projected 134% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 11th with a projected spend of £42 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 11th): £7.74
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 15.3% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 46% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 17% of Finland’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Finnish retailers are not reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 11% in Finland.

• France

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 25th with a projected 83% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: January 7th with a projected spend of £301 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (January 7th): £4.56
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 13.7% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 34% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 19% of France’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so French retailers are somewhat reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 10% in France.

• Germany

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 11th with a projected 34% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 8th with a projected spend of £345 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 8th): £4.27
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 14% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 42% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 20% of Germany’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Germany retailers are reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 10% in Germany.

• Netherlands

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 25th with a projected 75% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 10th with a projected spend of £74 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 10th): £5.03
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 16.6% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 35.7% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 24% of the Netherlands’ yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Dutch retailers are reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 8% in the Netherlands.

• Norway

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 2nd with a projected 127% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 11th with a projected spend of £24 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 11th): £4.76
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 21% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 39% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 20% of Norway’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Norwegian retailers are reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 7% in Norway.

• Sweden

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 25th with a projected 70% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 15th with a projected spend of £79 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 15th): £8.16
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 19.5% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 31% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 20% of Sweden’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Swedish retailers are reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 7% in Sweden.

• Switzerland

o First spike in online Christmas shopping: November 10th with a projected 60% increase over an average day’s online sales.
o Peak online Christmas shopping day: December 8th with a projected spend of £64 million.
o Average online spend per person on peak day (December 8th): £7.82
o Mobile online Christmas sales: 13.6% of online sales during the Christmas season will come from a smartphone or tablet, a 32% increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
o Importance of Christmas sales to yearly totals: 16% of Switzerland’s yearly online sales will occur during the Christmas season. The Christmas season, the months of November and December, represent 16.7% of the year (2/12) so Swiss retailers are not reliant on the Christmas season to have a good online sales year.
o Growth of online Christmas sales: Online Christmas sales are projected to grow by 7% in Switzerland.

The Adobe Digital Index report is based on the analysis of more than a trillion visits over the last seven years to more than 4500 retail websites. More than 70 percent of online sales from the top 500 US retailers** is generated by companies using Adobe Analytics. This large market share made it possible for Adobe Digital Index to successfully predict US online Christmas spending on Cyber Monday within one percent in 2012, and 2013, the most accurate prediction compared to forecasts from other technology companies in the US.

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