/// Three 2012 Holiday Online Shopping Trends to Follow in 2013

January 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital

Image copyright mtkang Another holiday shopping season has passed, offering yet another glimpse into what an e-commerce-driven retail sector looks like. The explosive growth of e-commerce has emerged as a headline from every holiday shopping season for more than a decade, but 2012 was a watershed year for retailers and the customers they serve. New trends in consumer behavior and the latest measures of retail performance suggest that 2012 was a healthy online holiday shopping season and that these economic tailwinds may continue in 2013. Annual growth among online retailers continued to outpace the growth seen by brick-and-mortar merchants during the 2012 holiday season. In fact, year-over-year growth in both sales and transaction volume was more than three times higher among e-commerce retailers, according to our Chase Holiday Pulse, which aggregates payment processing data from 50 of the largest U.S. e-commerce merchants. Retailers experienced a continued downward trend in average ticket prices, with season-to-date prices down nearly 8 percent compared to last year. This dichotomy between a rise in sales volume and a decline in ticket prices is a pattern to watch in the year ahead. Behind all of these numbers are three trends to follow this year. First, the 2012 holiday shopping season was the initial year e-commerce retailers witnessed the “Online Shopping Continuum,” where typical peak shopping days — such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and even Christmas Eve, which continue to be significant moments for brick-and-mortar merchants — morphed into a week-long phenomenon. During the week following Black Friday, for instance, retailers saw strong online sales volume growth, powered by additional incentives on the days following Cyber Monday, such as time-sensitive, around-the-clock coupons and special offers. This is a continuation of the urgency mechanism that many retailers implement during key shopping days.

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Three 2012 Holiday Online Shopping Trends to Follow in 2013

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