Holiday sales are expected to increase 11% this year to reach a record $91.6 billion, according to Adobe’s 2016 Digital Insights Shopping Predictions for the upcoming holiday season released on Thursday.
Cyber Monday is set to be the largest online shopping day of all time, predicted to rake in $3.36 billion in sales. For the first time, mobile devices will outpace desktops in shopping visits, 53% versus 47% respectively, but mobile shopping will account for just 34% — representing a gap of 19% between visits and purchases that Adobe, in a separate report, says is the result of poor mobile shopping experiences.
Large retailers are predicted to feel 16.6% growth in sales, outpacing smaller retailers’ 7% growth. That translates to more market share for the likes of Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target.
It looks like the summer retail rally will bleed into the holidays for retailers that can harness their digital strategies: For the first time this year, 53 consecutive shopping days will exceed $1 billion in online sales, compared to the 31 consecutive days of last year, a whopping 71% increase.
Given the promise of online sales, Cyber Monday will be a particular bright spot this season, with $3.36 billion in sales that reflects 9.4% growth from last year. Sales on Thanksgiving Day will increase 15.6% year over year to $2 billion, but won’t reach the 25% boost that the day saw from 2014 to 2015. Black Friday will grow 11.3%, down from 2015’s increase of 14.3%, to $3.05 billion.
Consumers will be shopping much earlier and later in the season, which could help smooth fulfillment and delivery for shippers like FedEx and UPS, Adobe added.
“We expect to see a 5% spike in online shopping in early November and a record 24% increase in the last two weeks of December,” Mickey Mericle, Adobe’s vice president of marketing and customer insights, said in a statement. “‘Click and collect,’ faster shipping and retail promotions starting earlier than ever are all contributing to the extended shopping season.”
But with e-commerce set to blow retailers away and benefit those with strong digital and omnichannel operations, the higher costs that come with fulfilling those orders could hit margins. Even Amazon, seen as conquering fulfillment with its massive warehouse and distribution network, watched the rise of those costs outrun its sales growth in its most recent quarter.
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories.