Thanksgiving eCommerce Trends 2014

Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away.

Adobe Systems did a little good old fashioned data mining from last year’s holiday sales figures, and here are five predictions that they came up with, along with some added insights from our end (we’ve bolded the predictions just to make it easier on you if you prefer to forgo our commentary).

1. Online sales on Thanksgiving Day will increase by 27% this year, reaching $1.35 billion.

Despite the fact that many retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day now, it’s safe to say that a good number of folks still value Thanksgiving for the traditions surrounding the holiday, and they’d rather spend time with family than with a random mob of holiday deal seekers. And there are plenty of others who would consider shopping on Thursday, but they don’t fully recover from the food coma until Friday. For someone in either of those two categories, there’s nothing better than a little Thanksgiving Day eCommerce; hence, the rapidly increasing Thanksgiving Day online sales.

2. 31% of digital sales on Thanksgiving Day will be made on a phone or tablet, up from 21% last year.

Do we have to say it? Mobile. Not just optimized for mobile – we’re talking about a natively mobile experience. That’s what’s going to visibly move the sales scale. And we’re also gonna try to tie this one back to the first prediction: for those spending Thanksgiving Day with family, it’s much easier to pull out a phone or tablet and still “engage” with relatives than it would be to do so with a laptop (or desktop, for that matter), so it makes sense that mobile will play a significant role in Thanksgiving Day digital sales. And for Mr. Food Coma guy/gal who can barely lift a finger… well, luckily, it only takes few swipes of the finger to shop on a phone or tablet.

3. The biggest discounts online will probably be on Thanksgiving Day itself – Adobe predicts an average of 24% off, as opposed to 20% off for the rest of the week.

The gravy’s hot, and so is the competition…

The gravy’s hot, and so is the competition this Thanksgiving Day. One might think that Black Friday or Cyber Monday would be home to the fiercest pricing wars, but apparently Thanksgiving Day will be most favorable for price-sensitive shoppers. If you’re a retailer, we think it would be very wise to keep a sharp eye on this trend, for a few reasons. First, and most obviously, if your competitors are giving deep discounts, then you’ll probably need to follow suit in order to stay competitive. More generally, if shoppers are expecting deals online on Thanksgiving Day, you need to meet their expectations to whatever extent you can.

4. Black Friday will become the fastest growing online sales day of the year, with sales growing 28% to reach $2.48 billion.

Black Friday isn’t just for stores anymore, and it’s coming close to catching up with Cyber Monday in terms of total digital sales. We think this is mostly indicative of a changing retail landscape, which is now full of retailers investing more in omnichannel strategy, essentially blurring the historical line of distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which brings us to Adobe’s final prediction…

5. Cyber Monday will still rule as king of online sales with $2.6 billion in total, but that’s only a 15% increase.

Don’t get us wrong here: Cyber Monday is still vastly important. But, it does look like it might be dwindling in relevance over the coming years. Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday digital sales are both increasing by nearly 30%, which is about twice the growth that Cyber Monday is seeing. This is just our guess, but it’s possible that a more widespread focus on omnichannel commerce had led/is leading/could lead to the demise of Cyber Monday — basically, the idea of a digital-specific day of sales made sense a few years ago, but with today’s focus on bridging the digital-physical divide with seamless experiences, the concept of Cyber Monday isn’t quite as relevant.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson
Luke once aspired to be a zoologist and first read of the elusive echidna when he was just a young boy. Feel free to email him with any questions related to marketing.