Demandware forecasts a merry Christmas for digital commerce this year

Demandware, an industry-leading provider of enterprise cloud commerce solutions, has predicted steady growth in digital commerce for the Christmas shopping season.

In its ‘Ready to Wrap’ report, Demandware projected that the peak shopping period, which begins Wednesday 18th November and culminates on 26th December, will take a bigger piece of the entire year’s order pie. Globally, Demandware predicts that this five week period will account for 22 per cent of this year’s total orders placed, up from 21 per cent the year prior. In the UK, the peak season’s order share could see an increase of up to 21 per cent from 15 per cent last year. Not surprisingly, Demandware expects a spike in transactions between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Using historical peak season data along with 2015 trends, the company has identified four critical factors that will drive record-breaking visits and transactions during the Christmas shopping season.

1. Phones on full charge – For the first time, mobile phones will be the number one device for digital commerce traffic. This is in-line with the shift towards cross-device shopping, but phones take the lion’s share. Order share forecasts indicate steep gains – with 32 per cent of orders expected to come from phones

2. Forget the letters to Santa, check the childrens’ phones – Mobile basket rates are increasing, as indicated by an 18 per cent uplift in the UK. This is due to the evolving way shoppers are browsing online, increasingly saving items as they go and using the shopping basket as a ‘wish list’

3. Christmas incentives: free shipping spikes and discounts rise – The peak shopping season is renowned for discounts and a heavy emphasis on free shipping, as shoppers search for value. This year will be no exception, with Demandware predicting that 82 per cent of global orders will ship for free, up from 73 per cent in 2014. In addition, the company projects that the average order will be discounted by 18 per cent

4. Traffic piles up, not just in the car park – The combination of steady growth in 2015 together with last year’s strong peak season points towards a six per cent increase in orders to 26 per cent in the UK this yearShoppers are projected to make six percent more visits to the same site and spend roughly three per cent more on that site. Mobile will likely earn much of the credit for the visit increases, thanks to the increase in cross-device shopping and uptick in mobile shopping adoption

“Our data points towards 2015 as another busy Christmas shopping season for digital commerce,” said Jamie Merrick, director of industry insights at Demandware. “Shoppers are more readily cross-device shopping and it’s up to retailers to unify the customer experience across mobile, tablet and web. It’s all about making the connection for the customer and creating a personalised and relevant experience for the individual by customising marketing efforts and capitalising on new ways shoppers are interacting with brands – whether its using shopping carts as wish lists, mobile site visits or the never-ending search for the best deal.”