Global holiday e-Commerce revenue is expected to grow 13% in 2018 over the previous year, according to data from Salesforce. Mobile devices will be a major platform for traffic, while AI recommendations will drive revenue and Instagram will emerge as the fastest-growing channel for e-Commerce referrals.
Mobile devices will account for 68% of all traffic, Salesforce predicts. Mobile phones are expected to account for 46% of all orders, compared to 44% for desktop computers and 9% for tablets.
“Mobile is undoubtedly the most disruptive force in retail since the onset of e-Commerce,” said Rick Kenney, Head of Consumer Insights at Salesforce, in a statement. “We’ll see more visits from phones this season than total e-Commerce visits across the entire 2015 shopping season. And even those in-store shoppers are mobile — 83% of shoppers ages 18 to 44 are using their phones while in a physical store.”
Meanwhile, AI recommendations are projected to drive 35% of all revenue for the season, driven by the technology’s ability to help retailers offer improved personalization. Total revenue from AI-powered product recommendations may rise 25% compared to 2017.
Social media also is important for retailers looking to maximize sales: 5% of all e-Commerce traffic will come from social platforms. But look for Facebook to experience a 7% decline in e-Commerce referrals compared to 2017, while Instagram traffic will grow 51%.
Retailers should be prepared for the holiday rush by late November: Cyber Week — the period from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday — is expected to account for 40% of all holiday e-Commerce sales worldwide. Cyber Monday will account for 8% of seasonal sales, and Black Friday another 10%. Half of holiday shopping will be complete by December 2, a day earlier than the 2017 holiday season.