News Feature | January 11, 2017

Holiday Online Sales Reached $91.7 Billion

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Retail VARs Holiday Season

Record setting figure was an 11 percent increase over 2015.

This year’s holiday shopping season was a winner for online retailers, raking in an estimated $91.7 billion in sales and marking an 11 percent increase over 2015 figures, according to CNBC. Adobe Digital Insights data revealed that the season's sales came in $115 million ahead of expectations, 0.13 percent better than was forecast.

Of the sales, mobile devices were responsible for $28.4 billion, an increase of 23 percent over last year, with $19.3 billion in revenue being generated from smartphones. Mobile drove 50 percent of all visits (41 percent on smartphones, 9 percent on tablets) and 31 percent of purchases (21 percent smartphones; 10 percent tablets).

Adobe Digital Insights also found that average shipping costs were $2.50 in 2016, actually $0.10 lower than in 2015, with a peak of $4.10 on December 10 and a low on Thanksgiving Day ($1.60) and Cyber Monday (also $1.60.) After a slow start to the shopping season influenced by the elections, sales increased toward the end of December, especially near the shipping cutoff dates, as consumers made purchases later in the season and utilized click and collect in-store and other options.

Top mentioned retailers this season were eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Target, and H&M, while the top mentioned toys were Pokémon Sun & Moon, Barbie, Oculus, PSVR, and Frozen toys.

“It’s not just the total online sales figure that made this a historic holiday shopping season, “ explained Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director at Adobe Digital Insights. “This year, Black Friday set a new record by surpassing the $3 billion mark for the first time…We also saw gains in mobile spend, with Black Friday becoming the first day in retail history to drive over $1 billion in mobile revenue.”