Ready for the holidays? 1 in 5 US consumers starts holiday shopping in October or earlier


Back to school shopping is in full swing, which means the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. One in five U.S. consumers will likely be making their first holiday purchases in October or earlier (compared to one in ten shoppers globally), according to Facebook’s holiday shopping survey. It’s also likely more than half of shoppers will make holiday purchases on mobile devices this year. That means commerce brands should be getting their mobile experiences and holiday marketing plans in order now.

Source: Facebook IQ Source: Facebook 2019 Holiday Study by Ipsos Marketing.

Majority of shoppers likely to make holiday purchases on mobile

Facebook’s survey data found 49% of consumers in the U.S. made holiday purchases on a mobile device last year, up from 45% in 2017 and 30% in 2015. If this trend continues, more than half of the U.S. consumers will be buying holiday gifts on their phones. Retailers need to have their sites and apps optimized for the best possible mobile experiences.

Additionally, he number of “mobile-first” shoppers (consumers who do a majority of their shopping on mobile) is growing. Facebook reports the mobile-first shopping segment grew by 33% in the U.S. last year.

Prep for more mobile conversions

When asked what their biggest “pain point” was in terms of mobile shopping, slow page load was the top gripe among Facebook’s survey participants, followed by small fonts, hard-to-review product info, responsive design challenges and fuzzy images.

Top problems U.S. shoppers experienced when using mobile devices during the 2018 holiday shopping season:

  • App or website took too long to load: 26%
  • Font size was too small: 25%
  • Product information was difficult to review: 22%
  • Content did not fit on the screen: 22%
  • Images were not clear enough: 19%

E-commerce brands that improve mobile speed and optimize for better mobile experiences will have a greater chance of increasing their conversion rates and revenue.

Why we should care

A 2017 survey from BigCommerce found nearly 40% of retailers began their holiday campaign planning anywhere from one to four months before the holiday season. With Black Friday falling on November 29 this year, we’re officially four months out from the start of the biggest holiday shopping week of the year. And this year, mobile is likely to play a bigger role in the customer journey than ever before.

For more insights, Facebook has packaged the data from its holiday shopper surveys conducted by Ipsos in an interactive tool you can filter by market and shopping behaviors.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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