Future of Commerce Blog

2015 Retail Holiday Season Data Trends


New year, new data! We went through all the data collected during the 2015 holiday season, and have the pulled top highlights and trends to help your retail business prepare for future peak selling seasons.

Examining over 10 million orders from more than 3,000 small and medium-sized businesses, this data set only includes orders placed with USD currency and businesses that had orders since Oct 1, 2015. And for our data purposes, we’ve defined the holiday season as November 1st to December 31st, and Thanksgiving weekend as Thanksgiving Day November 26th through Cyber Monday November 30th.

Here are some of our top data findings and the insights they can provide into holiday sales, free shipping offers, and consumer trends:

  • Almost half of SMB retailers said their holiday season actually ends in January – With an estimated 40% of retailers’ annual sales occurring during the holiday season, it’s no wonder it’s the most stressful time of year for businesses. But having a longer peak season, hopefully means less stress. Because of holiday gift card redemptions, gift exchanges, and post-holiday sales, the holiday shopping season has essentially extended into January.
  • During Cyber Monday, orders placed on branded websites had 2.4 times higher typical order value than orders placed on Amazon – If you’re only selling on a marketplace like Amazon, you could be missing out on earning additional revenue. With branded sites (like Shopify and Bigcommerce) pulling in more than double the order volumes for retailers on key shopping days like Cyber Monday, it may be time to start diversifying your eCommerce sales channels to establish an effective multichannel sales strategy.
  • 78% of retailers offered some type of free shipping during the holiday season, with 74% of orders shipping for free on December 20th – Free shipping offers have always been a favorite of customers, and more SMB retailers are now turning to this particular type of holiday promotions in an effort to stay competitive in an online sea of “Free Shipping” signs. Since offering free shipping has been proven to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and increase revenue by potentially 10%, retailers should continue to extend these offers during peak seasons.
  • Western and Mountain states shoppers spent 50% more per capita on consumer electronics than all other regions – If you’re in the consumer electronics industry, you might want to start targeting your marketing efforts in the Western and Mountains regions during the holiday shopping season. It’s well known that the tech mecca, Silicon Valley, is located in the Northwest, but we it is now also clear that the techies in that region (and beyond) are willing to spend a great deal more for their favorite gadgets and tech accessories.

And those are only the highlights! Check out our full 2015 Retail Holiday Data Recap Report:


Michelle Laham

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