The big retailers are realizing that online holiday shopping is holiday shopping, but the little guys led them two that conclusion.
As holiday shopping shifts online, even small businesses are getting a big piece of shoppers' budgets.
Market research firm ComScore notes that the amount spent online during the 2015 holiday season grew 13% from 2014 to $69.1 billion. That includes a 6% gain for desktop and laptop shopping and a whopping 59% jump for mobile shopping, which now accounts for 18% of all online shopping.
Even after a whole lot of early holiday shopping, online spending from Black Friday through Cyber Monday eclipsed $7.2 billion last year. That's up 10% from the previous year and was helped a great deal by shoppers who increased their online Thanksgiving spending from $766 million to nearly $1.1 billion since 2011. Black Friday shopping, meanwhile, boosted online spending 10% from $1.5 billion in 2014 to $1.66 billion in 2015.
However, even those two holidays combined paled in comparison to Cyber Monday. ComScore notes that spending on that day sales jumped 12%, to $2.28 billion. Throw mobile shopping into the mix and that spending number jumps to above $3 billion. Though Green Monday on December 14 managed a $1.4 billion online total that was larger than that produced by either Thanksgiving or Free Shipping Day (December 18), even the day after Cyber Monday ($1.9 billion) and the Friday two weeks before Christmas (December 11, $1.48 billion) put up huge holiday numbers.
That's no small matter when you consider that the percentage of online shoppers is growing. According to the National Retail Federation's holiday consumer survey, 56.5% of shoppers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online. While that still trails the percentages that will shop in department stores such as Macy's or Nordstrom (56.6%), it's now ahead of the percentage of folks who'll shop at discount stores including Wal-Mart and Target (55.7%), but the demographics aren't working the discounters' favor. That's a drastic change from when the NRF first started surveying consumers about their online shopping ten years ago. At that time, roughly two-thirds said they planned to do between1% and 25% of their shopping online, with the largest percentage (23.5%) saying they planned to skip online shopping altogether. Just last year, 25% of shoppers planned to do 26% to half of their shopping online, while 20% planned to do half to three-quarters of their shopping from their PC or mobile device. Just 11% planned to do no online shopping at all.
That puts a whole lot of holiday shopping money on the table, and we know a whole lot of tiny businesses looking for a piece of it. We've looked at small, unique, obscure, far-flung sites around the holidays for several years now, but the following ten online shops are some great additions to those ranks: