Survey: 2019 holiday shopping online

By Duncan Keene, UK Managing Director for Contentsquare.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday having happened later in 2019, retailers may have been negatively impacted by the 2019 holiday shopping period being a full six days shorter than last year. But, as digital experience platform Contentsquare’s research into that shopping season revealed, many brands still saw online success, thanks to UK shoppers being ready to spend.

Contentsquare surveyed 314 million+ user sessions between 15 November and 23 December and the results proved there is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a peak in conversion during Black Friday (BF) and Cyber Monday (CM) sales day compared to the rest of the 15 November to 23 December shopping period. Purchases on tablet were 53% higher, mobile were 42% higher and desktop 33% higher.

The majority of purchases for the whole period were made on tablets and mobiles over desktop, but mobile browsers and buyers made up 68% of traffic to sites, which could support the premise that buyers were browsing and buying while on the go or out and about. 

The average checkout cart was 10.54% higher during discount days and 11.89% higher during BF/CM than the whole holiday period. Visitors spent on average one minute per page viewed (or 7 mins over an average of 6.33 pages) and more than half of the traffic to retail sites was made up by new visitors. 

So, retailers should prioritise customer retention during this shopping period, as the research also found that the average bounce rate drops from 48% to 39.2% on tablets and desktop. This 8.8% improvement didn’t hold true for mobile bounce rates though, which were higher at 41%, meaning retailers need to work on retention on mobile as a first step next year to increasing overall mobile conversion rates.

Although retailers had less time to grab shoppers over the 2019 holiday shopping period, our research report reveals that online buying habits over the Christmas shopping period are continuing to increase, with UK buyers taking full advantage of the discounts on offer and the ease of shopping using their tablets and mobiles while out and about or at home, alongside their PCs. With most retailers investing in upgrading their omnichannel strategy, it’s essential for brands to consider new channels in order to help them to connect with their customers in another unique way over this busy traffic period. With the Christmas shopping season remaining one of the most competitive for all retailers, leveraging CX personalisation brands that add standout value for consumers is just one way for brands to come out on top of the customer engagement and retention game.

Pure players have leveraged their omnichannel strategy better than anyone – global data shows that digitally native brands have 5% more returning visitors and 107% more logged-in visitors than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. In 2020, we anticipate an upsurge in stores increasingly integrating more channels to connect with their consumers, including a digital experience into brick-and-mortar locations, while physical stores bringing their presence online to drive hyper-personalisation.

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