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2013 Online Retail Holiday Predictions

Online Retail Holiday Predictions

The holiday season is set to get into full swing next week as online retailers start to roll out their major promotions – yes, even before Thanksgiving. So what do the industry experts expect for the online retail industry this holiday season? Here’s a breakdown of some key 2013 online retail holiday predictions…


Adobe has unveiled their 2013 holiday season predictions which includes a prediction for a record setting $2.2 billion in online retail sales this Cyber Monday. Both Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday are also projected to surpass $1 billion in online sales for the first time ever. Of all the predictions made so far, Adobe’s predictions appear to be the most bold with strong sales forecasts.

Digital business analytics company comScore has predicted U.S. online sales via desktops to increase 13-15% year-over-year in 2013. The exact same percentage range was predicted by comScore last year. Cyber Monday was also projected by comScore to be up to $1.8 billion in 2013, a 20% increase year-over-year, but approximately $400,000 less than the Cyber Monday prediction made by Adobe.

Somewhat in-line with comScore’s holiday predictions, digital marketing research firm eMarketer has predicted holiday sales to increase by 15% year-over-year across all devices. Overall online sales for the entire fourth quarter of 2013 were projected to reach $61.8 billion, although the 15% increase would represent the smallest percentage increase in holiday growth of any quarter so far in 2013.

On the fulfillment and delivery side, UPS has forecasted what it is calling a “solid” holiday season, stating that package volume during the final week before Christmas is projected to be up 6.2% this year to 120 million packages. As an interesting trend, UPS has changed their classification of “holiday peak” from a broad term (Thanksgiving through Christmas) to now represent only the last two weeks before Christmas. This is primarily due to the eCommerce industry and is somewhat due to consumer behavior – now many online shoppers will delay purchases until later in the holiday season or buy many items from one online retailer and split the large purchase, sending out multiple packages at the end of the holiday season to different people.

In Canada, online holiday season growth is expected to continue to take up a larger percentage of budgets as, according to consulting firm Deloitte, consumers are projected to spend 19% of their holiday budget with online retailers this year. This percentage rises to over 25% in Toronto, which is the largest metropolitan area in all of Canada.

The sophisticated nature of the U.K. eCommerce landscape has resulted in strong online retail predictions this holiday season. According to the Kinetic U.K. Panel, approximately 40% of U.K. internet users plan to do at least “most” of their holiday shopping online this year.  Only 10% of U.K. internet users said they would not attempt to shop online at all this holiday season.

In conclusion, an array of sources have predicted strong, double-digit growth for online retailers this holiday season, both in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. While Cyber Monday is projected as the highest revenue day of the holiday season for online retailers, many other days are also projected to perform well – Adobe has predicted eight days this holiday season to reach or surpass $1 billion in sales.

As the holiday season continues, be on the lookout for our holiday recaps later this year where we aggregate all the best holiday data together and look at the emerging trends from Cyber Monday 2013 and the 2013 online holiday season as a whole. We can’t wait to see the results!