27 essential customer behavior stats and tips for the peak shopping season

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 may now be in the past, there are still weeks of peak shopping ahead of us. And this year it’s going to be bigger than ever.

  1. $5.8 billion is expected to be generated online during Black Friday 2018 from digital channels alone
  2. Online spending on the day is expected to increase by 15% over 2017

Some fairly staggering numbers, I’m sure you’ll agree. Moreover:

  1. 60% of shoppers plan to do their shopping online
  2. On Black Friday, more people prefer to shop online (55.9%) than in stores (44.1%)
  3. More than half of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping before Black Friday
  4. Shoppers plan to spend $60 more this year on Black Friday than they did last year ($803 vs. $743)
  5. 60% of retailers feel they will beat their 2017 holiday sales this year. But 86% say they feel more pressure to compete with Amazon during the holidays than during any other time of the year
  6. Almost a third of holiday shoppers (31%) say they'll do most of their shopping on Black Friday, while 22% say the same of Cyber Monday

Clearly, it has never been more important for retailers to build their Holiday strategies early in order to beat the competition in the race for the increasingly valuable wallet share.

So what’s the key to winning this race?

To help drive your KPIs through the roof, we’ve put together a list of essential stats and tips to help retailers learn more about their digital shoppers for Black Friday and beyond – into the holiday and sales seasons:

Get your mobile commerce site in gear

  1. 75% of consumers are using their phones to browse the internet every day
  2. 67% are planning to use their mobile for holiday shopping, up from 57% last year
  3. However, Clicktale research reveals desktop users are 36% more likely to purchase gifts than smartphone users

In a separate report from Clicktale and Wharton School of Business, we provide some tips for overcoming this unique 'mobile mindset'. But there are also some revealing stats about mobile behavior:

  1. 31% of consumers would be happy to pay more for a product or service if the mobile shopping experience was better
  2. Smartphone users are willing to pay on average 6.5% more for shipping compared to desktop users

Don’t make them wait

 People hate waiting in line, especially when it comes to digital queues:

  1. In fact, 5 million people plan to set their alarm extra early on Black Friday to avoid the inconvenience

Shopping online can no longer be relied upon as an additional strategy for avoiding queues. The holiday season has become notorious for websites crashing and becoming unavailable due to the expectedly large volume of demand.

Making customers wait, though – is not an option. In a survey of over 2000 US and UK consumers, Clicktale has found that:

  1. Waiting for an ecommerce site to load is as stressful as having to wait in line in a store
  2. 81% of online shoppers find slow loading times stressful

So before moving any further into your holiday preparation, it is critical to make sure that your site is ready to handle the spikes in volume that are to come.

Make the online shopping experience stress free

Shopping online is often sought out as a convenient alternative to in-store shopping:

  1. 75% of shoppers cited convenience as the main reason to shop online

Quite often, however, the promise is left unfulfilled:

  1. 1 in 5 consumers admit that going shopping makes them feel stressed
  2. More than 1 in 10 experience high stress levels while buying online
  3. 15% of consumers have lost their temper when shopping online

Four tips for reducing customer stress in the digital shopping experience:

  1. Identify common stressors (where and why things go wrong on digital properties)
  2. Watch (in addition to listening): don’t rely only feedback, assess what they are doing (not only what they are saying)
  3. Be supportive: make sure that access to customer service and support teams remains a central part of the website flows and customer journeys
  4. Provide assurance: communicate to customers that you are handling issues when they arise, e.g. post a customized error page or a ‘back in five minutes’ sign when things go wrong with the website

Understand the intent behind digital shopping behaviors

  1. Holiday shoppers will spend an average of $57 more on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday this year, so understanding the meaning behind digital shopping behaviors is vital
  2. Only 32% of shoppers claim that they only ever buy things they absolutely need (that leaves 68% who don’t buy things they absolutely need!)
  3. 79% of ecommerce shoppers admit that they struggle to stick to a set shopping list

So, if we understand which digital behaviors lead to which purchases, we can align pages to accommodate a more rewarding shopping experience for customers, even (or especially) when it unfolds in unexpected ways.

Learn more about how Clicktale is mission critical to some of the world’s largest retailers:

Talk to us to explore how customer experience analytics can improve your business