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What can e-tailers expect during the Christmas shopping month?

By May-Anne Oltmans

Dec 4, 2015


With the holiday season looming closer, the time has come to start stocking up on presents. Unsurprisingly, many retailers view December as the month that can make a difference and turn even the gloomiest year into a success. Even less surprising is the boom in internet shopping: 20 percent of all online sales will happen on the web, predicts online fashion platform Stylight, who based their predictions on Adobe´s Digital Index.

Do you want to learn more about what retailers can expect in the Christmas season, but are you short on time? Then click here for the 30-second version.

American consumers are the biggest spenders

Most virtual shopping baskets will be filled in the United States, as this is the largest online market in the world. In total, the revenues of the e-commerce sector are expected to amount to 81.02 billion dollars (53.86 pounds) during December. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have traditionally been the most important days for American consumers do their shopping because of the discounts that are offered on these days. Although Google predicted that this year would see consumers postpone their shopping trips as ´every day is a shopping day´, US retailers reported a record-breaking Cyber Monday. While Adobe predicted that consumers would spend approximately 2.82 billion dollars (1.87 billion pounds) on this day, total sales actually amounted to 3 billion dollars (1.99 billion pounds): three times the amount spent on an average day.

These are the most important days for European retailers

Retailers on the other side of the Atlantic are facing a promising month as well, although European consumers are expected to start shopping later. The peak shopping days are expected to be December 7 and 8, as most consumers in Germany, Spain and France are expected to go online shopping on these days. However, Brits are even better prepared for the holiday season as most consumers in Great-Britain already made their purchases on Black Friday (November 27).

Whereas Brits generally like to go shopping weeks before the holidays take place, Dutch and Belgian consumers generally like to wait a bit longer. Adobe expects that December 14 will mark the date at which e-tailers in the Netherlands and Belgium will welcome the highest number of customers.

December is the most expensive month for British consumers

It can certainly be said that December traditionally equals big business, but how much do consumers actually spend during this month? When considering the average expenditure per consumer, Brits turn out to be the most generous shoppers of the Christmas season. Each person spends an average of 300 pounds (416 euros). But the Dutch and Germans also don´t try to cut back on shopping at the end of the year, as consumers in the Netherlands spend 365 (263 pounds) euros, whilst their German counterparts spend 311 euros (225 pounds). Amongst the eleven European countries which were included in this study, Italy settled at the bottom of the list of big spenders, as the average consumer in this country spends 235 euros (170 pounds). In Norway (236 euros, 170 pounds) and France (247 euros, 178 pounds) consumers are expected to spend relatively little in comparison to other European consumers.

In addition to looking at consumer spend during the month of December, Stylight also made an attempt at predicting which items are set to be most popular amongst female consumers, by looking at search queries from the past two months. The data revealed that dresses are especially popular at the moment, as this item was the most sought after by consumers in the United States, France, Norway and the Netherlands. However, minor differences could be detected between these countries, as American women showed a preference for maxi dresses, whereas Norwegian women showed a keen interest in short dresses. Belgian and German webshops should make sure that they have a large enough supply of coats, as Stylight predicts this will be a bestseller, while British e-tailers can expect a large demand for Christmas sweaters. There is one thing that all e-tailers can be sure of: if Cyber Monday can be seen as a prelude to this year´s holiday shopping season, December is bound to be a great finale.

Image credit: Harvey Norman Blog

Infographics: Stylight

Adobe Digital Index