Black Friday

Retail Tech Roundup: Winners and Losers Edition

by Jenna Sindle

The 2017 holiday shopping season kicked off in high style this Black Friday and was then boosted by record-setting sales on Cyber Monday.  We wanted to check in on who the winners and losers are so far this holiday shopping season and what trends we can see that might shape retail tech in 2018.

Records Set Online

This is the most uneventful piece of information shared online in a long, long time.

As nearly every retail analyst predicted Cyber Monday 2017 set yet another record for retail spending. Based on preliminary assessments from Adobe, online spending was up over 17 percent from 2016 with the expected spending total to be around $6.6 billion.  When you combine this dollar amount with online spending on Black Friday, online shopping is clearly America’s preferred way to shop.

But Don’t Count out Brick and Mortar Just Yet

 Despite the enormous success of online retailers, don’t count out brick and mortar stores just yet. According to CNN Money and ShopperTrak foot traffic on Main Street and in the mall was down less than 1 percent from the year before. With much of that reduction in in-person shopping coming from retailers choosing to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day and some opting to remain close on Black Friday, 2017 was a good year for brick and mortar.

In fact, according to a recent infographic released by Pitney Bowes, 78 percent of consumers prefer shopping at physical stores and nearly half of consumers combine online and in-store shopping experiences.

But the Real Winner is…

 Is it brick and mortar? Is it clicks and mortar? Is it online shopping? Actually the real winner this holiday shopping season is mobile.  According to Adobe, Retail Dive and Graham Cooke, CEO of Qubit, this was mobile’s year.  According to Adobe, mobile drove 54% of visits to sites and 37% of digital revenue leading to the assessment that mobile has reached an important “inflection point.”  However, Qubit’s CEO, Cooke, thinks that most retailers are leaving money on the table when it comes to mobile shopping.

Between websites that aren’t mobile-friendly and retailers yet to adopt the latest in personalization technologies retailers still have a way to go when it comes to maximizing revenue from smart phones and devices. Whether at-home or comparison shopping while in store, it’s clear that this year marked the start of the next-generation of online engagement for retailers and consumers.