US holiday shopping peak periods getting longer each year, Qubit research

US holiday shopping peak periods getting longer each year, Qubit research

Research also shows nearly 68% of consumers are comfortable sharing preferences with brands to receive a more personalised experiences

London and New York – 13th December 2018 - Qubit, a leader in marketing personalisation technology, today announced findings from its platform data on consumer holiday shopping behaviour, along with a new consumer survey.

Qubit analysed internal data from 10 days prior to Black Friday through Cyber Monday over the past three years. The 2018 data shows how consumer online shopping habits are changing. It surveyed 417 US residents just before the Black Friday weekend to obtain consumer insight and perceptions about the holiday shopping season. 

A major trend supported by both shopper behavioural data and the consumer survey responses is the expansion of the holiday shopping peak to span more days than ever before: 

·         According to Qubit's internal data, the five-day period (Saturday – Wednesday) prior to Thanksgiving saw a significant uplift of shopping sessions over the past three years (compared to the control), from 3.48% in 2016, increasing to 14.78% in 2017, and up to 19.48% in 2018.

·         The consumer survey backs up this data - 41.25% of those surveyed responded “yes” they started their holiday shopping earlier this year than in 2017, as compared to "no" (29.3%) or "about the same" (29.5%). 

"Shopping starting earlier means more browsing and product discovery, which means more data points that can be used for the customer experience," says Leah Anathan, CMO of Qubit.

"Consumers are expecting personalisation now more than ever. This indicates that personalisation provides real benefits to both shoppers and retailers and is an accepted part of shopping online. Another surprising takeaway from the consumer survey is the growing acceptance of product recommendations. As recommendation engines have advanced, they’re also proving to be a consistent revenue driver for retailers.”

Other major takeaways are how comfortable consumers have become with sharing preferences and receiving relevant product recommendations, and how few sites are searched before shoppers make a purchase:

·         According to Qubit's consumer survey, nearly 68% of consumers are happy to share preferences and data with brands so they can personalise the experience. Only a fifth of consumers state that brands shouldn't use their data. 

·         44.36% of consumers find recommendations very useful to the shopping experience, while 49.88% of consumers said they've bought something that has been recommended to them. 

·         Respondents also mentioned relevancy as the primary reason consumers shop on Amazon (30.7%), behind Amazon stocking everything (27.58%) and delivery times (19.42%).

·         57.31% of consumers visit two to three websites before they purchase something, while half stated that they've purchased something from recommended products

Qubit's most recent research also found the continued growth of mobile commerce. Consumers are using the mobile channel to discover and buy more products than ever before. 

·         According to Qubit's consumer survey, 50.1% of consumers are discovering more products on mobile than last year, with 44.8% purchasing more on mobile as well. 

·         Additionally, visitors are becoming more comfortable converting on mobile than in previous years. However, there is still a gap between share of mobile sessions (74%) and share of mobile revenue (44.9%).

·         Qubit's platform data shows that the revenue share gap between mobile and desktop is decreasing. Between 2016 and 2018, the mobile share of revenue during Black Friday weekend increased by 30.9%. 

"The growth of the mobile channel continues to show promise for brands and will soon be the preferred method of shopping before, during and after the Black Friday period,” Anathan continues.

“Retailers still have some way to go to close the revenue gap, but mobile is clearly a huge engagement driver across the peak shopping season. Mobile also shows great potential for retailers as they launch campaigns for Christmas and other major holidays throughout the year. One thing is certain - brands can no longer afford an outdated mobile strategy or poor user experience.”

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