Digital Sales Soar in the 2016 Holiday Shopping Season

Digital sales soared during the 2016 holiday shopping season, showing the ever-growing acceptance of people to shop online. Cyber Monday was the largest online sales day in history with $3.39 billion, according to Adobe. The online holiday saw more than $2 billion in desktop buying for the third year in a row and became the first day ever to eclipse $1 billion in mobile commerce, according to comScore. Click here for more on Cyber Monday.

Beyond Cyber Monday, healthy spikes in weekend traffic demonstrate the importance of getting promotions right when consumers are tackling their holiday shopping lists.

Here is a quick look at the results and some insider commentary on the 2016 holiday shopping season online: 

First weekend of December

  • E-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up by 4% on Saturday and 10% on Sunday from these same days last year. —Verizon
  • Peak e-commerce volume was also higher – up by 26% on Saturday and 27% on Sunday  – capping off a pattern of increasing peaks during the weekend. —Verizon

Super Saturday (the last full weekend before Christmas and Hanukkah)

  • E-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 11 % on Saturday (Dec. 17) and 16% on Sunday (Dec. 18) from these same days last year. —Verizon
  • Peak e-commerce volume also spiked – up by 34% on Saturday and 37% on Sunday - posting some of the highest numbers of the season. —Verizon

December 25th

  • E-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 48% on Sunday (Dec. 25) from this same day last year, shattering all previous records. Peak ecommerce volume also skyrocketed on Sunday  (Dec. 25) – up by  78% – breaking all previous records. —Verizon

Post Christmas

E-commerce activity continued to swell in the immediate days following Christmas, throughout Hanukkah and into the New Year’s weekend as consumers likely were redeeming gift cards and taking advantage of end-of-year clearance deals.
  •  E-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers was up 25% on Sunday (Jan. 1) from this same day last year, making it one of the highest of the season after the Dec. 25, 26 & 27  trifecta. —Verizon
  • Peak e-commerce volume also skyrocketed  on Sunday  (Jan. 1) – up by  66% – securing a spot on the season leader board. —Verizon

Desktop Shopping

  • For the entire November-December 2016 holiday season, $63.1 billion was spent online on U.S. desktop computers, marking a 12-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. — comScore 
  • For the entire season, 30 individual days exceeded $1 billion in online spending via desktop, nearly doubling the 16 days reaching that milestone the previous year. — comScore 
  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) items shipped worldwide grew more than 50 percent during the holiday season.--Amazon
What the Experts Had to Say

"Looking back on the season as a whole, 2016 marked another year where digital – and in particular, mobile – grew its spending share and influence relative to traditional brick-and-mortar retail," said comScore CEO Gian Fulgoni. 

"As anticipated, gift cards, returns and deals motivated consumers to rally for the post-Christmas shopping season as retailers ushered in the New Year by offering great promotions to move inventory and finish the year strong," said Michele DuprÉ, GVP of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Conveniences such as extended shipping deadlines are making clear that consumer confidence in supply chain capabilities is high."

 “2016 was a record-breaking year in sales worldwide for sellers on Amazon. The Amazon Marketplace empowers brand owners and retailers of all sizes, many of them small businesses, to reach customers around the world,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace.