Hot on the heels of disappointing sales results for high street retailers over the Christmas period, new research from SalesCycle has revealed that online still continues to deliver impressive growth.
Early sales updates from retailers have seen brands such as Next and Sainsbury’s reporting declines in store sales but experiencing online growth.
According to SaleCycle data, online sales grew by 23% during December 2019, when compared to the same period in 2018.
Overall traffic to online retailers also increased, by 22%, while recovered sales (where shoppers return to abandoned baskets) also rose by 22%.
Black Friday and the days around it now tend to deliver the highest peaks in traffic and sales for e-commerce, but the Christmas shopping period is still key for online retailers.
Cart abandonment rates fell from 84.98% in December 2018, to 83.48% this year.
Comparing data to that from our recent retail report which looks at the first six months of 2019, we can see busy sales periods like Christmas affect abandonment rates.
In general, when retailers offer plenty of promotions, and time to buy is limited, abandonment rates tend to fall. This reflects the fact that consumers need to make a decision or risk missing out.
Cart abandonment rates by sector graph
For this reason we see fashion abandonment rates dropping from 87.78% to 83.9% in December, abandonment on sites selling jewellery dropped from 88.6% to 86.7%.
The Christmas shopping period also affected email open rates, with basket abandonment emails being opened more than average in December, when compared to H1 2019 (43.73% vs 40.14%).
Email conversion rates were especially high for online retailers, at just over 30%. This reflects the fact that more customers were in purchase mode at this time of year.
Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle