Small Business Saturday Builds on Holiday Sales Momentum

December 3, 2019

Small Business Saturday

This November 30th marked the tenth anniversary of Small Business Saturday and it was one for the record books. Based on Adobe Analytics data, Small Business Saturday saw a new record of $3.6B in online sales, representing a strong 18.0% year over year (YoY) growth. This adds to the record $72.1 billion spent online to date, between November 1 and December 1, representing growth of 16.3% year over year. In fact, every day this season has surpassed $1B in sales and 12 days have topped $2B, putting Holiday 2019 on track to hit $143.7 billion spent online for the full two-month peak sales season.

Online shopping has benefited from a few unexpected boosts this year. First, the shorter timeframe between Cyber Monday and Christmas has seen many retailers launching promotions sooner than usual. Second, as large areas of the country faced snowstorms and heavy rain, many consumers opted to stay home to find the best deals online. Overall, retailers are seeing returns on their omnichannel and mobile shopping investments. Specifically:

  • Click and Collect: Since November 1, BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) and curbside pick-up services have become very popular with 43.2% growth year over year. These services are breathing new life into physical stores, as shoppers make additional purchases while picking up their online orders in-store. We expect consumers to take greater advantage of these conveniences as we get closer to Christmas.

  • Closing the mobile commerce gap: Smartphones are driving a healthy 54% majority of retail site visits, a jump of 19% compared to Holiday 2018. Yet retailers are becoming more successful in closing the mobile commerce gap with smartphones accounting for 36.1% of online sales thus far, at a whopping 24.1% growth year over year.

  • Top Sales Drivers: So far this season, paid search has ranked highest for driving revenue at 24.4% share of sales (up 5.2% YoY), followed by direct traffic at 21.2% (down 0.6% YoY), natural search at 18.8% (down 5.9% YoY) and email at 16.8% (up 8.9% YoY). Similar to past years, social media continues to have minimal impact in driving online sales with a 2.6% share, but it is starting to be a more prominent driver of visits at 8.0%, up 17.5% YoY.

  • Large vs. smaller retailers: Ecommerce giants (over $1B in yearly revenue) are outperforming smaller counterparts (< $50M in yearly revenue) in mobile commerce, with 11% more in smartphone revenue share, and 80% better conversion rates. Season to date, small retailers have seen a 32% increase in online sales on average, vs. 71% for large retailers.

While consumers cite quality (53%), unique products (48%) and overall experience (46%) as the reasons they choose small retailers over large ones, the largest retailers are maximizing their advantages with bigger paid search spend, faster site speeds, more cross-selling opportunities, and more robust physical location networks for BOPIS. So while smaller retailers boast site experiences and products that are more effective at getting consumers to add to cart, large retailers are more successful in converting visitors into buyers.

For recommendations and best practices to optimize your eCommerce operations for holiday success see our blog on optimizing your site for the holiday season.