Key Holiday Benchmarks to Track this Holiday Shopping Season

By ​Jonathan Duch

October 10, 2017

This blog post was updated on October 15,2018.

The days are getting shorter and the Halloween decorations are out. You know what that means. Pumpkin flavored everything and your massive holiday season to-do list just became more urgent. The NRF 2018 Holiday Playbook reports that more than half of holiday shoppers start researching potential purchases in October or earlier.

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, there is no time to waste. In 2017, eMarketer expected digital commerce to climb 15.8% during the holiday shopping season, even while when total retail growth will was expected to slow. Make sure your eCommerce engine is firing on all cylinders because there is a lot at stake.

We’re here to help. The Monetate Labs team studied four years of holiday data and uncovered important correlations between Black Friday, Cyber Week and the rest of the holiday season. 67% of companies that don't hit their multi-year Black Friday average will fail to hit their multi-year rest of the holiday season average. Cyber Week sales have even more predictive power, and are your best indicator if you are on track to succeed or need midseason course corrections.

Download Monetate’s 2018 Holiday Guide now to learn what to prepare for this holiday season.

It’s not enough to know where your business is trending. You have to adjust strategy based on what you learn. Traditionally, that has meant relying on discounts, but that is not your only option. Personalization allows brands to influence shopper behavior and reduce dependence on discount strategies.

Tailoring experiences is an essential element of maximizing revenue during the holiday shopping season. That means taking into account past purchase and browsing history, but also the depth of information that you have at your fingertips for even first-time holiday shoppers. That includes where the shopping experience originated, on-site browsing behavior, time of day, geographic location, and weather conditions--to name just a few considerations.

  • Start with user intent. Why are your shoppers coming to your site? Are they looking for store locations or checking the status of an order? Leverage their behavior to anticipate their needs.

  • Think through the user experience. Minimize distractions, highlight top items, and make the checkout process as seamless and easy as possible. This will help set you apart from the competition.

  • Integrate your channels. Your shoppers don’t think about your marketing channels as mobile vs. in-store; in-store vs. catalog. It’s just you and your brand. Consider the different needs of shoppers visiting from a mobile device, but ensure that the transition across devices is seamless.

The most effective brands use all the tactics and tools of personalization at their disposal, and track key benchmarks to ensure they are reaching their goals. If you want to learn more about preparing for this holiday season, download Monetate’s 2018 Holiday Guide for more insights and useful tips. And don’t forget to download the 2018 Holiday Guide Checklist for an easy cheat-sheet to reference later!

Jonathan Duch is the Product Communication Czar for Monetate, where he oversees and directs cross-departmental product launches. Jonathan is a 10-year veteran of marketing technology software, and has pursued a career that has taken him from the US, to Europe, to Southeast Asia, and back again. He currently lives in the Washington, DC area with his wonderful wife, and can often be found running the local trails, or sailing in the Potomac River.

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