Deep discounting, mcommerce remain keys to holiday season success

Like last year, we expect deal-hunting consumers and mobile-forward brands to drive the 2024 holiday season, according to our US Holiday 2023 Recap and 2024 Preview report.

Here’s a deeper dive into two trends from last year’s holiday season and what that means for brands as they consider their 2024 strategies.

The 2023 trend: Mobile commerce grows its role during the holiday season.

  • For the first time, mcommerce sales made up over half (50.6%) of total US holiday retail ecommerce sales in 2023, per our forecast.
  • Mcommerce sales spike during the holiday season, representing 52.7% of total holiday retail ecommerce sales.

The 2024 strategy: Brands need to leverage mobile to maximize engagement—and sales. Mobile apps are a valuable tool for retailers, drawing consumers in with loyalty programs, exclusive offers, and digital wallets.

“Mcommerce tends to take off during the holidays because of how consumers shop,” said our analyst Sky Canaves. “During the Thanksgiving weekend, people tend to watch TV with their families while they shop from their phones. Even when they visit stores, they’re using their phones to check prices and comparison shop.”

Mobile apps can also help boost in-store traffic via click-and-collect and exclusive in-store services, noted Canaves.

The 2023 trend: Budget-conscious consumers gravitated to discounts and smaller-ticket categories.

  • Almost all product categories tracked by Adobe Analytics had higher discount rates in 2023 than in the year prior. Electronics had the highest discounts, at 31% off listed price, followed by toys (28%), apparel (24%), computers (24%), televisions (23%), and furniture (21%).
  • Food and beverage had the highest ecommerce sales growth during the 2023 holiday season, increasing 19.9% YoY, per our forecast. Holiday ecommerce sales of apparel, footwear, and accessories grew 12.8%, and consumer electronics grew 9.0%.

The 2024 strategy: Brands must prioritize value as consumers seek out the best deals, keeping in mind that value isn’t all about low prices; it can also be about offering better customer service, greater convenience, and higher-quality products.

  • This year, fashion and food and beverage will be two of the fastest-growing ecommerce categories during the 2024 holiday season, according to Canaves.
  • “Retailers should be thinking about how to align their mobile strategies to take advantage of these trends,” she said.

The big picture: Total retail sales for the 2024 holiday season will reach $1.372 trillion, growing 4.8% YoY, per our forecast.

  • Ecommerce sales will grow 9.5% to reach $271.58 billion as consumers go online for quick, easy purchases and easy price comparisons.
  • Non-ecommerce sales will grow 3.7% to reach $1.1 trillion.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.

First Published on Mar 27, 2024

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