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All I want for Christmas is... online

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11/23/2018 | 05:38am EDT

As customers behavior evolve, this Holiday Season should bring record online sales. Expectations are largely optimistic despite some recent headwinds, according to analysts at Jefferies.

There are major trends impacting e-commerce growth. More and more people are shifting from retail to online, thanks to faster deliveries and the strong online presence of Amazon. Social media also boosts that phenomenon, especially when it comes to mobile shopping.

According to American venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends report, social media continues to be an important driver of online purchasing decisions, with 55 % of people buying products after discovering it on social media.

Source : Forbes, Mary Meeker 2018 report

E-commerce sales have continued to progress at a fast pace, while in-store retail has only seen a limited growth. In addition, mobile shopping app sessions grew 54% year-on-year which represented the fastest growing mobile app category ahead of music, entertainment, and utility.

Source: Forbes, Mary Meeker 2018 report

All this is bods well for the next Holiday Season, with growth, on average, expected to outpace 2017, according to analysts at Jefferies. E-commerce should be up by approximately 17 % year-on-year, growing 3 times faster than total retail up by approximately 5 %.

It anticipates that Amazon will be a major beneficiary of holiday retail growth, thanks to its "best-in-class fulfillment, breadth of products, and strong mobile presence". This will come at the expense of Ebay, ”hit by stalling with stalling gross merchandise volume and revenue growth, along with shrinking margins.”, the report states.

US E-commerce has grown at an average of 15 % over the last 8 years, which is 4 times faster than total retail, and Jefferies sees plenty of room for online penetration to go up from the current 10 %. Amazon, at the same time, has outpaced the market, growing on average 2 times faster, and has been taking market share from other retailers.

This year the calendar offers the most shopping days possible between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 1 extra day versus 2017, which is expected to boost online sales by $284 billion, says Jefferies. In particular, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are expected to see solid growth, with Cyber Monday expected to be the heaviest online shopping day with sales reaching $7.8 billion, which is up 17.6 % from the previous year. Mobile spending is also expected to surpass $54 billion in Q4, the highest level ever recorded.

Romain Fournier
© MarketScreener.com 2018
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