The Q4 holidays make up the busiest shopping season of the year, every year. In 2022, US holiday retail sales are expected to reach $1.3 trillion, a 3.3% increase over 2021. Holiday ecommerce is expected to grow 15.5% to $236 billion!
With this huge opportunity to grow profitable revenue in Q4, how can you ensure your brand is prepared? In this blog post, we’ll share all the stats, trends, and predictions you need to thrive during the 2022 holiday ecommerce shopping season.
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Cyber Week 2022 results
Despite rising inflation rates, higher costs to advertise, and continued supply chain strain, Cyber Week 2022 was a record-breaking shopping event.
Cyber Week, also known as Cyber 5, refers to the five-day period encompassing Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
Overall, Cyber Week delivered $35.3 billion in revenue. That’s nearly $500 million more than original projections.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were both record-breaking shopping days. Cyber Monday was the biggest day of Cyber 5, bringing in a record $11.3 billion in revenue. On Black Friday, global shoppers spent more than $9 billion online – a 2.3% year-over-year increase.
On Thanksgiving, online sales grew 2.9% year-over-year to reach $5.29 billion.
The increases could partially be due to the rise in inflation and higher costs across the board, but US shoppers still purchased more items over Cyber 5 this year than last year. Overall, US online order volume grew 3.5% year-over-year during Cyber Week.
Average order value (AOV) grew only slightly, further suggesting that inflation isn’t the only reason for the year-over-year Cyber 5 increases. If higher prices due to inflation were the main catalyst, then AOVs would have been much higher.
To cater to consumers’ concerns about rising prices, items were more heavily discounted during Cyber Week 2022 vs. 2021, with discounts around 7% higher year-over-year. There wasn’t a particular day of Cyber Week when discounts were significantly better. In the US, the average discount during Cyber Week was around 31%.
Stay tuned for a blog post diving into more of the results from Cyber Week 2022, including exhilarating wins from ROI clients.
The stressful holiday season will be quickly followed by the start of the new year. Now is the time to strategize for 2023. Not sure where to start? We asked 17 digital marketing experts at ROI Revolution about what they expect from ecommerce in the new year. Get the predictions here.
How inflation will impact holiday shopping in 2022
In 2020, the holiday season was rife with consumers worried about the pandemic and in-store shopping. In 2021, shipping delays and product availability caused by supply chain strain were a major obstacle for holiday shoppers.
For the 2022 holiday season, shoppers’ main concerns will revolve around inflation. In fact, according to a survey from NPR and Ipsos, inflation is overwhelmingly the top concern, with 42% of American consumers saying inflation and increasing costs are a worrying topic.
64% of US adults say that they are very concerned about inflation.
Inflation isn’t an issue that can be ignored, and during the busiest spending time of the year, rising costs are going to have a significant impact on shoppers’ purchase decisions. Consider the following stats:
- 35% of US shoppers plan to spend less per person on holiday gifts this year compared to previous years due to inflation.
- 74% of US shoppers say they are wary of spending too much this holiday season due to economic uncertainty
- 29% of US shoppers say they will only buy gifts on sale this holiday season
- 34% of US holiday shoppers believe they’re likely to go into more debt this year than previous years to purchase holiday gifts
Many shoppers are turning to credit cards to make their holiday purchases. 72% of US shoppers say they will use credit cards to buy holiday gifts this year, totaling $103 billion in credit card purchases. Millennials dominate the holiday credit card spending category, with 34% saying they plan to pay for holiday gifts with credit cards this year compared to 18% of Gen Z, 25% of Gen X, and 17% of Baby Boomer shoppers.
31% of shoppers who purchased holiday gifts with a credit card last year still haven’t paid off the items.
Gift cards are another prevailing gift option this year as products become more expensive. Gen Z dominates the category for holiday gift card purchases and are expected to spend $290 on gift cards as holiday presents this year – up 57% from last year.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) services will be another solution that consumers turn to for making their holiday purchases this year. 20% of 2022 holiday shoppers plan to use BNPL services.
15% of US shoppers believe they’ll need to leverage money from their savings accounts to pay for all their holiday gifts this year.
While inflation is the top concern for Americans right now, issues like the supply chain and coronavirus pandemic are still top-of-mind. Similar to this blog, we have regularly updated blog articles on these issues, too. Learn the latest below:
- How Coronavirus (COVID-19) Is Impacting Ecommerce
- Supply Chain Strain: News & Updates on Shipping, Inventory, & Fulfillment
If you’re stressing about how current economic strife will impact your brand, you don’t have to walk the road alone. Our ecommerce experts are passionate about discovering untapped opportunities for brands to drive profitable revenue, even in an uncertain climate. To explore the wins we can uncover for you, send a message to our team today.
Cyber Week 2022 predictions
One of the most fruitful times of the year for businesses around the world is Cyber Week – the five-day period encompassing Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, when shoppers everywhere are buckling down on their holiday shopping and making a huge amount of purchases.
Aside from being the busiest shopping time of the entire year, Cyber Week (also known as Cyber 5) is also the busiest shopping period of the holiday season. In fact, last year, purchases made during Cyber Week made up 23% of the entire holiday season’s total online gross merchandise value (GMV)! The second busiest period was the week of December 13th, coming in at a much lower 13%.
The busiest day of Cyber 5 is Cyber Monday, which is expected to deliver $11.84 billion in ecommerce sales this year, a 3.8% increase over 2021. Last year, Cyber Monday sales were projected to grow a whopping 12.4% to reach $12.12 billion – but in reality, sales grew just 7.3% to reach around $11.4 billion.
Black Friday 2022 online sales should see the biggest increases out of all the days of Cyber Week, with sales projected to grow 3.9% – just a little more than Cyber Monday. Black Friday will be the second busiest day of Cyber Week, with an expected $9.81 billion in ecommerce sales. Sales are expected to range between $5-5.5 billion for the remaining days of Cyber Week.
This year’s holiday season growth projections are lower across the board. For more on sales growth projections throughout the holiday season, see our November 3rd update!
New predictions for 2022 holiday ecommerce shopping
With the start of November, we’re all now sitting in the crux of the holiday shopping season. Brands and retailers around the globe are executing their Q4 strategies and patiently waiting for the results.
With current obstacles like increased competition, higher CPCs, cost-conscious customers, and supply chain issues (to name a few), this holiday season may be less fruitful than many businesses are used to. eMarketer predicts that US holiday sales growth will decline this year, with overall retail sales expected to grow just 7% compared to 15.4% last year.
The slowdown in growth can be attributed to an expected decline in in-person sales. Non-ecommerce retail holiday sales are expected to grow just 5.9% in 2022 compared to 16.5% last year. Online sales will be what drives holiday sales growth this year. Ecommerce will grow 12%, slightly more than last year’s 10.4%.
In 2022, ecommerce will make up 18.4% of total US holiday retail sales.
While sales growth is slowing down, overall sales will continue to increase year-over-year. Overall US holiday season retail sales are expected to approach $1.30 trillion this year, compared to last year at $1.21 trillion. Ecommerce sales will reach $239.3 billion, up from $213.6 billion in 2021.
US holiday ecommerce sales have surged since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, this year, online sales will be nearly $100 billion higher than they were in 2019 before the pandemic started!
Are you caught up on our 2022 holiday resources? Peruse our holiday content below to gain access to all the latest predictions and insights:
- Should You Run A/B Tests During the Holiday Season?
- Video: Q4 2022 Holiday Trends (Google Think Retail Event Recap)
- 8 Holiday A/B Tests to Boost Your Ecommerce Growth This Holiday Shopping Season
- 7 Ecommerce Strategies to Prepare for the 2022 Holiday Shopping Season
- 6 Holiday Ecommerce Strategies for 2022 That Your Brand Can’t Afford to Ignore
- 5 Actionable Tips to Create a Profitable 2022 Holiday Ecommerce Strategy
- Is Your 2022 Amazon Holiday Strategy Primed for the Prime Fall Deal Event? (UPDATED With Results)
- 5 Signs You Could Benefit From Ecommerce Fraud Prevention This Holiday Season
Holiday insights from ROI’s paid search experts
The holiday season is quickly approaching. Most last ship dates are now under two months away, and more than half of holiday shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping before Halloween.
Paid search ads are always one of the biggest drivers of ecommerce revenue during the holiday season. But with higher CPCs, rising inflation rates, and fierce competition, what can brands and retailers expect from the PPC landscape during the 2022 holiday season? Here’s what some of ROI Revolution’s paid search experts have to say.
Consumers want to make sure they get the right deal
“The holiday season is longer again this year. Consumers are still concerned with inventory and lingering supply chain issues, and there’s still a general economic concern about what might happen this Q4 season. Consumers are taking more time researching products, comparing prices, and looking at different shipping offerings, which is resulting in lower conversion rates for many businesses. Shoppers are looking at online ratings, reviews, and quality, really wanting to make sure they’re making the right choice and getting the best deal.” – Abigail Lorentzen, Team Lead, Paid Search
Reviewing your brand’s omnichannel presence is a MUST
“Instead of assuming that a user will be either an online shopper or an in-store shopper, you want to have a both-and-more mentality. Maintain an omnichannel presence to capture that user in all purchasing stages. You also need to be present earlier, so get in front of consumers and showcase your promotions with video assets to build that brand awareness for when it comes time to buy. Review your product landing pages and compare your prices, your language, and your offerings to those of your top competitors. Review your Amazon offerings and your site offerings to make sure that there is consistency between the two.” – Alicia Tobey, Team Lead, Paid Search
Price-sensitive shopping behavior may result in lower spikes
“We’re expecting to see another unprecedented Q4. With inflation and larger economic concerns influencing spending levels, consumers started their shopping early in October and will be price-shopping throughout the busy season. This year, we predict that paid search may not experience the same spikes in performance over the Cyber 5 time period as in years past due to this early and price-sensitive shopping behavior that’s resulting in spending being spread more throughout October and November.” – Sara Burns, Senior Team Lead, Paid Search
For more insights on paid search during the 2022 holiday ecommerce season, watch our video (or read the transcript) with insights from Google’s Think Retail Event! You’ll learn more about how the state of the economy will impact this Q4 shopping season, complete with exclusive stats and predictions about consumer spending habits.
Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale sees 100+ million items sold, lower AOVs
Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale took place on October 11-12, 2022, delivering a boost in sales to many brands at the outset of the holiday ecommerce shopping season. Doug Herrington, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Stores, said in a post-event press release:
“Our Prime Early Access Sale was a great kickoff to the holidays, and the best part is that it’s only the beginning. Customers will find millions of must-have deals throughout the season that will help them continue to save money on gifts for loved ones.”
Shoppers purchased over 100 million items on Amazon during the event. However, current consumer concerns around inflation and spending resulted in some lower numbers than some businesses hoped for. AOVs were less than expected, with the average order value (AOV) of items purchased during the event coming in at just $48.86 – 23% lower than AOVs on Prime Day.
According to Numerator, inflation impacted 79% of Prime Early Access Sale shoppers, and 13% researched prices outside of Amazon because of inflation. Inflation was up 8.2% year-over-year in September 2022.
29% of Prime Early Access Sale shoppers purchased holiday gifts during the event – and of those, 95% say they plan to buy holiday gifts on Amazon again within the next three months.
31% of the Prime Early Access Sale shoppers who purchased holiday gifts bought at least half of the gifts they need to buy.
To learn more about the results from Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale, read our blog dedicated to the event.
Amazon’s upcoming holiday sales event
Last week, Amazon announced that they will be hosting their first-ever Prime Early Access Sale exclusively for Prime members on October 11 and 12, 2022.
The Prime Day-esque event gives Amazon sellers and vendors the opportunity to supercharge their Q4 earnings with a strong start to the holiday season.
The event will run for 48 hours and take place in 15 countries.
On October 11, Amazon will release a new Top 100 list of some of the most popular products and deals. Prime members can already peruse Amazon’s toys gift guide, Toys We Love list, and home gift guide for inspiration.
Prime members can prepare ahead of time by setting up personalized deal notifications and using Alexa to add products to their Wish List, Cart, or Save for Later list.
For brands and retailers looking to prepare for the event, consider analyzing your success from this year’s Prime Day to help inform your strategy for the October event. Don’t forget to consider how you may be impacted by supply chain and inventory issues.
Amazon is a key ecommerce channel to drive sales and revenue during the holidays. ROI Revolution’s team of digital experts have over 20 years of experience with online advertising and can help your brand discover profitable growth on Amazon and other marketplaces. Reach out to our team today to uncover opportunities to drive more revenue throughout not just the holiday season but during any time you have peak seasonality.
The latest content on the holiday ecommerce
At ROI Revolution, we’re passionate about giving your brand everything you need to grow profitably. Q4 is a major driver of revenue for many brands and retailers, so we’ve been sharing as much content as we can to help you grow this holiday season. Check out some of our recent resources below:
- Is Your 2022 Amazon Holiday Strategy Primed for the Prime Fall Deal Event? Brands that sell on Amazon should keep a close eye out for a sales event that Amazon will reportedly host in October. In this article, learn how you can use trends from the July Prime Day to inform your strategy for October, see how supply chain strain will impact the event, and gain industry-specific insights for what to expect.
- 5 Actionable Tips to Create a Profitable 2022 Holiday Ecommerce Strategy. The way that consumers shop for gifts during the holidays has completely transformed since the onset of the pandemic. Your Q4 2022 strategy needs to take this into account. In this article, dive into our top five tips to create a profitable 2022 holiday ecommerce strategy for your brand.
- 6 Holiday Ecommerce Strategies for 2022 That Your Brand Can’t Afford to Ignore. Between rising inflation rates, a looming recession, unprecedented consumer shopping habits, and other challenges in the shopping landscape, your brand needs to make sure to focus on the right goals and priorities in order to grow profitably this holiday season. In this article, explore six holiday ecommerce strategies for 2022 that your brand can’t afford to ignore.
An overview of last year’s holiday shopping season
2021 marked the second holiday shopping season since the onset of the pandemic. Consumer behavior was shifting rapidly. Predicting Q4 performance and developing a profitable strategy were more challenging than ever for brands and retailers around the globe.
It’s always a good idea to take a look at the past when planning for the future. Let’s dive into some of the highlights from the 2021 holiday shopping season.
Last year, Cyber Monday was the highest revenue day of the season, with consumers generating $10.7 billion in revenue. Black Friday came next at $8.9 billion in revenue, followed by Thanksgiving at $5.1 billion in revenue. The next highest grossing days were November 11th (exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving) and the day before Thanksgiving.
Holiday shopping revenue grew 9% year-over-year from $188 billion to $205 billion. That was slightly lower than the forecasted $207 billion.
62% of the days during the 2021 holiday shopping season generated over $3 billion in revenue!
Desktop generated 57% of 2021 holiday ecommerce revenue compared to mobile at 43%. Conversion rates were significantly higher on desktop, averaging at 5.4% during the highest grossing days compared to mobile at 2.7%. On Cyber Monday, desktop had more than double the conversion rate of mobile, coming in at 6.9% compared to 3.4%!
US holiday season sales had the fastest growth rate in over 20 years last year. Seeing significant year-over-year growth may be a challenge for some brands in 2022, but there are still plenty of opportunities to profit. To uncover growth opportunities for your brand for 2022 holiday ecommerce and beyond, reach out to our team today.
5 Signs You Could Benefit From Ecommerce Fraud Prevention This Holiday Season
In 2022, US retail ecommerce holiday sales are projected to grow 15.5% to reach $236 billion!
Unfortunately, with so much revenue opportunity, there’s also an increased chance for holiday ecommerce fraud. Between 2021 and 2025, merchant losses from online payments fraud are set to exceed $206 billion. Businesses that don’t adapt can expect to lose profits to fraud this holiday season.
If your brand falls into any of the following categories, you may want to take action to prevent ecommerce fraud this holiday season:
1. You Want to Prevent Losses From Criminal & Friendly Fraud
Retailers stand to lose $130 billion in revenue to fraudulent card-not-present (CNP) transactions by 2023.
Many types of fraud result in chargebacks, which go hand-in-hand with ecommerce and are one of the primary risks digital sellers face during the holidays. The direct and hidden costs of chargebacks are extensive, from financial losses to operational costs and brand damage.
2. You Want to Improve Your Customer Experience
25% of consumers would not return to an ecommerce site if it turned away their legitimate transaction.
Friction at any point in the path to purchase is a potential loyalty and revenue leak, especially during the highly profitable holiday shopping season. Customers who are pressed for time may switch apps and stores to complete their order more quickly. By creating easy and fast account creation, login, checkout, shipping/delivery, and even dispute experiences, you’re more likely to increase conversions and repeat purchases.
3. You Want to Reduce Brand Damage as a Result of Fraud
6 out of 10 consumers are concerned about a retailer’s credibility or potential personal data breaches when shopping online.
Damage to your brand’s reputation can dry up profits at a critical time. Prospective customers often avoid a brand that has recently fallen victim to an attack, and existing customers affected by the attack may not return. Bad actors can employ several methods to take advantage of the incentives your brand tries to provide to customers.
4. You Want to Protect Your Critical Business Infrastructure
From requiring manual work to straining your fulfillment capabilities, fraud can wreak havoc on your critical business infrastructure. Preventing fraud can benefit every facet of your business – including internal operations and foundational structures.
With an AI-based strategy for fraud prevention, you can apply adaptive decisioning to accept, challenge, or deny a transaction without resorting to lengthy manual reviews so that you can accelerate the manual reviews that are actually necessary.
5. You Want to Accept More Good Orders & Increase Revenue by Reducing False Declines
To control chargebacks, you need to reduce false positives. A digital identity trust solution delivers the most accurate evaluation of risk and trust in real-time to reduce payments fraud.
You don’t want to miss out on revenue this holiday season because of a lackluster fraud prevention strategy. Explore more about preventing and detecting fraud during the holiday season in the full article here. And if you’re interested in working with a fraud detection platform this holiday season and beyond, reach out to our partners at Kount to start a conversation.
The 2022 holiday shopping season has already kicked off!
There are still more than three months to go until the peak of the holiday shopping season and Cyber 5 – but many consumers have already kicked off their holiday shopping. In fact, 38% of US shoppers who participated in Amazon Prime Day 2022 say they purchased holiday gifts during the sales event.
Amazon is a very popular destination for shoppers buying holiday gifts. Last year, 93% of US holiday shoppers said they planned to purchase holiday gifts on Amazon!
Last year, holiday shoppers started to buy gifts earlier than ever in light of supply chain strain to help ensure the items would arrive on time. Fast shipping is always important to shoppers (especially with same-day and two-day shipping expectations set by Amazon), but during the holiday season, it’s even more important to make sure customers receive their packages on time.
As supply chain issues persist and rising inflation rates, many shoppers will be careful again and start their holiday shopping early this year to ensure they get everything they need on time and potentially at a lower cost. And they’re smart to do so.
The average sales price (ASP) is set to increase 8-12% each month for the remainder of 2022.
But brands and retailers can still expect Cyber Week 2022 to be a major revenue-driving event, especially with price-conscious shoppers who are looking for good deals. In 2021, Cyber Week (the 5-day period encompassing Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) brought in $36.4 billion in revenue in the US alone.
As the holiday season approaches, staying aware of the constantly shifting marketplace will be crucial to your brand’s profitable success. Stay tuned to this article for all of the latest updates you need to succeed for 2022 holiday ecommerce.
2022 holiday ecommerce shopping expectations
It may only be July, but brands and retailers everywhere are currently preparing for the 2022 holiday shopping season. Ecommerce and online shopping are expected to soar as consumers take part in the busiest buying period of the year.
Ecommerce holiday sales have been rising since the dawn of online shopping, but growth skyrocketed in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic.
After increasing 11% in 2018 and 16.2% in 2019, US digital holiday sales surged 32% year-over-year in 2020 to $185.9 billion. In 2021, ecommerce sales grew a smaller but still significant 14.4%, hitting $206.9 billion.
Ecommerce sales made up nearly 1 in 5 holiday purchases last year.
Offline holiday sales still surpass online sales – and they’ve also grown rapidly. Overall US holiday retail sales reached $843.4 billion in 2021. That’s up from $691.7 billion in 2019!
In 2022, shockwaves from the pandemic will continue to transform consumer shopping habits. Inflation is one such impact, with the annual US inflation rate currently around double what it’s been for the past 40 years.
Retailers can expect shoppers to buy less this year. In fact, the rate of inflation in Q4 may be higher than the rate of holiday sales growth.
Some consumers might kick off their holiday shopping early this year to spread the purchases out more instead of spending a significant sum of money all at once. This is a continuation of a trend from the 2021 holiday shopping season, when consumers started buying holiday gifts earlier than ever due to supply chain and shipping concerns.
We’ll keep sharing data and predictions for 2022 holiday season ecommerce as the major holiday event gets closer and closer. Stay tuned to this blog for more!
- Salesforce. Retail Holiday Insights Report.
- Adobe Analytics. 2022 Holiday Shopping Trends & Insights Report.
- PaymentsJournal. How Gen Z Is Influencing the 2022 Holiday Shopping Season – and Why They Love Gift Cards.
- NerdWallet. 2022 Holiday Shopping Report.
- Morning Consult. How Inflation Concerns Are Impacting Consumer Spending.
- Ipsos. Inflation is Americans’ Top Concern, And It’s Not Going Away.
- Insider Intelligence. US Cyber Five Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales, by Shopping Day, 2021.
- Insider Intelligence. US Holiday Shopping 2022.
- Insider Intelligence. Cyber Week still rules the holiday ecommerce roost.
- Insider Intelligence. US Holiday Season Retail Sales, 2016-2022.
- Insider Intelligence. US Retail and Retail Ecommerce Holiday Season Sales Growth, 2016-2022.
- Bankrate. Survey: Half of holiday shoppers to begin by Halloween.
- Numerator. Get real-time results for the Prime Early Access sale.
- About Amazon Blog. Tens Of Millions Of Prime Members Shopped Amazon’s Holiday Kick-Off Event, Ordering Items From Top-Selling Categories Like Apparel, Home, Toys, and Amazon Devices.
- About Amazon Blog. Score top holiday deals with Amazon’s new Prime Early Access Sale.
- Insider Intelligence. US Holiday 2021 Review and Holiday 2022 Preview.
- Adobe Experience Cloud. 2021 Holiday Shopping Trends & Insights.
- Statista. Holiday season retail e-commerce sales in the United States from 2019 to 2021, by online shopping day.
- Kount. Digital identity trust solutions can save billions (infographic).
- Insider Intelligence. 2021 US holiday review: what it means for the 2022 season.
- eMarketer. US Holiday 2021 Review and Holiday 2022 Preview.
- Statista. Year-on-year growth rate of retail e-commerce holiday season sales in the United States from 2016 to 2021.
- Statista. Retail e-commerce holiday season sales in the United States from 2016 to 2021.
- PracticalEcommerce. 5 Predictions for the 2022 Holiday Shopping Season.