Consumers continued to be spend-heavy in the first quarter of this year. According to Adobe Digital Insights, online sales reached a new high, securing more than $100 billion in the first quarter, marking an increase of more than 14 percent year-on-year.
“That’s pretty remarkable because this is coming on the heels of 14.7 percent growth in the holiday season, which is pretty close,” said Siddharth Kulkarni, an analyst at ADI. “And it’s just a couple of years since we had our first $100 billion holiday season. So now we’re seeing that same number pop up in other quarters, which I think is a testament to how fast online growth is happening.”
The big days for shopping were Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day, the analysis discovered. “The two main holidays that we saw in Q1 were Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day, and they both surpassed $1.5 billion, which is a respectable amount,” explained ADI analyst Costa Lasiy. “It’s nowhere near the $6 billion figure of Cyber Monday, but these two holidays were the highest two peaks in Q1.”
As retailers and brands continue to hone their omnichannel experiences, this number will continue to grow, an ADI spokesman suggested. Memorial Day will likely prove to be another day for high spending, as consumers ready for summer holidays.
“ADI predicts that Memorial Day will be the highest-grossing day of Q2, but it will have to wait another year to break the $2 billion threshold surpassed only during the holiday season. Memorial Day online sales are expected to grow at about 19 percent year-on-year,” the spokesman said.
Mobile shopping is still building, the analysis found, but might be reaching a plateau shortly. “Consumers are starting to reach that equilibrium between when they want to use the desktop and the smartphone,” Lasiy said. “So while we still expect smartphones to pass desktops in terms of online visits to retailers in the next couple of months, the pace is starting to reach this plateau.”
But this shouldn’t signal concern for merchants doubling down on mobile experiences. Revenue per visit on smartphones continues to intensify — but still has yet to catch up to desktops — mainly because people tend to make bigger purchases during the business week, on their work desktops.
“People’s home desktop and work desktop are very different devices,” Kulkarni said. “We found that people make bigger purchases on weekdays, especially on desktop.”
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