2018 Holiday Season Shopping Trends: Mobile, Smart Speakers and In-Store Purchases

More than 164 million people plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation

Consumers say they will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the 2018 holiday season a 4.1% increase from 2017, according the National Retail Federation.

E-commerce continues to gain traction during the holidays, but bricks-and-mortar shops remain popular with consumers: A 2018 In-Store Holiday Shopping survey found that 88% of consumers intend to shop in physical stores this holiday season. This figure isn’t limited to older shoppers, either, as 88% of 18-to-29-year-olds said they will shop in stores this holiday shopping season — an 8-percentage point increase from 2017, according to the Natural Insight survey. One reason for this continued popularity may be the draw of experiential marketing provided in-store.

The 2018 In-Store Holiday Shopping survey

Bazaarvoice reports that Black Friday dominates the holiday shopping season, with brand and retailer websites in its network seeing an average traffic lift of 203%, as well as a 116% lift in conversion rates. The company also reported that its network saw higher purchases and revenue on Thanksgiving day than on Cyber Monday in 2017. During the five-day Thanksgiving weekend shopping holiday last year, mobile accounted for 55% of all page views and 44% of all revenue.

The 2018 In-Store Holiday Shopping survey

Those retailers who are accommodating to last-minute shoppers may have an edge on others. Euromonitor International reported that companies have been expanding their express shipping options to attract last-minute shoppers. Some retailers are also promoting options to buy online and pick up in-store, emphasizing the need for omnichannel strategy.

Euromonitor’s report also suggests many retailers will use the 2018 holiday season to test voice assistant shopping strategies, including the sale of smart speakers to boost household penetration rates and incorporating voice activities in the path to purchase.

ZDNet predicts 35% of all retail revenue will be driven consumers that engage with an AI-based product recommendation, a 25% increase over last year. Chatbots are also expected to have a greater impact this shopping season.