With the 2016 holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s important for retailers to consider the impact of the ever-increasing number of purchases via e-commerce and mobile-commerce.

This holiday season is shaping up to make history. Total 2016 holiday sales are expected to exceed $1 trillion, which is an increase of 3.6-4.0% in holiday sales year-over-year, according to the 2016 Deloitte Holiday Survey. But just how much of this can we credit to the continued rise of online shopping? Plenty. Below, we highlight three key ways digital channels will impact the holiday 2016 shopping season:

Consumers are Spending Just as Much Money Online As In-Store

As consumers are increasingly reaching for their mobile devices, tablets and computers to shop for gifts, e-commerce is expected to skyrocket. In fact, shoppers anticipate spending just as much money online as they do in physical stores this year. This is an enormous milestone in holiday purchase behavior and Deloitte’s survey indicates that the impact will be huge: they predict a 17–19% increase in e-commerce sales, reaching $96–98 billion between November 2016 and January 2017.


Mobile Shopping Goes Mainstream

These days just about everyone seems to own an iPhone or Android. Deloitte reports that 78% intend to use their phone for holiday shopping. While many consumers will use their smartphones for research purposes (i.e. finding store locations, comparing product prices and reading reviews,) “43% percent of smartphone owners plan to use their device to make a purchase this holiday season—up from 35% percent two years ago,” says eMarketer.


Smartphones are Surpassing Tablets

For the first time, smartphones sales will exceed tablet sales, totaling $67.23 billion for the entire year and will represent nearly 58% of mobile-commerce sales. Additionally, by 2020, mobile-commerce will represent nearly half of all digital sales, with the majority resulting from smartphones.

“Bigger screens, better mobile design and simpler payment options have all contributed to this explosion of sales via smartphones,” said eMarketer retail analyst Yory Wurmser. “We’re still in the early part of the smartphone commerce revolution, and the development of better app search, payment systems and commerce on new platforms should propel sales strongly in 2017.”

With the number of mobile shoppers booming this holiday season, now is the perfect time for retailers to consider new ways to reduce friction across the digital consumer journey in order to drive conversions.

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