4 Online Shopping Trend Takeaways from Holiday 2018

As online sales skyrocket, these lessons should inform your online strategy in 2019

Words by Ryan Atkinson

Taking a deeper look at the 2018 holiday online shopping season reveals a few shopping trends that your business should be keeping an eye on.

According to recent data from Google, "Only about 18% of shoppers consolidate all of their shopping to the Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday period." This suggests that the strong start to the season could lead to record December online sales.

Whether consumers are buying online or visiting the store, Google reinforced the role a retailer's website plays in shopping, confirming that people are spending up to 63% of their time online during the shopping process.

Click-and-Collect Continues to Shine
Nearly half of all orders on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were for in-store pickup. This is the most attractive type of online order for most bike shop owners, because those online transactions bring customers into the physical store where, data reveals, they’re likely to buy more. According to commerce solutions provider Order Dynamics, "62% of customers purchase additional items at the time of in-store pickup."

Impressive Year-Over-Year Growth
Black Friday online sales across the SmartEtailing network were up 90% over 2017. There were 55% more orders, and the average order value increased by 22%.

Cyber Monday results were also up, but to a lesser extent. Sales were up 18% and orders were up 31%. The average order value on Cyber Monday was down 10% from 2017, which reinforces the discount nature of Cyber Monday.

Mobile Continues to Grow
SmartEtailing continued to see increases in website visitors on mobile devices, with 59% of visitors over Black Friday weekend visiting bike shop websites from a mobile device.

According to the National Retail Federation, "66 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to make holiday decisions, up from 63 percent last year."

Optimize Your Website
Whatever else you can glean from the data, one thing is clear—online shopping continues to grow. If you hope to harness it, you’ll have to optimize your website. Here are a few tips to make sure your website can help capitalize on this growth.

  • Turn on your shopping cart

  • Promote free in-store pickup for online orders

  • Feature gift cards and financing

  • Highlight popular gift ideas, like electronics

This post was authored by Ryan Atkinson, President and Co-Owner of SmartEtailing. SmartEtailing provides website, marketing, and data solutions to help independent bicycle retailers compete in an evolving retail world.