Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. While all kinds of retailers, both brick and click, normally benefit in the thick of the holiday season, online sales are undoubtedly taking control of the holiday shopping. This is especially true this year given a harsh winter has left large parts of the United States into whiteouts, impacting the travel decisions of shoppers.
No wonder, U.S. consumers have already shelled out $50.1 billion online between Nov 1 and Nov 26, 2019 — marking an increase of 15.8% year over year, per Adobe Analytics. A six-day shorter holiday shopping season this year led retailers to come up with deals earlier than usual, which drove the sales numbers in November.
Consumers splurged online on Thanksgiving too. Overall, sales trends probably have matched Adobe’s prediction of $4.4 billion in sales on Thanksgiving this year. This marks an 18.9% year-over-year jump. With maximum brick-and-mortar stores remaining closed on the day, consumers found it convenient to shop online and grab the offers.
Within the already-done online shopping, about 66% of sales were carried out on mobile devices. Apparel and accessories were the most popular category, with the average cart price being $78.66 (read: Time to Flock to E-commerce ETFs Ahead of Holiday Season?).
Forecast for Online Sales
Total retail sales are expected to grow between 4.5% and 5% during the holiday period, suggesting a rise from 3.1% recorded in 2018, according to Deloitte's annual holiday forecast. Among this, online sales are set to rise 14% to 18% compared with 2018 levels, according to Deloitte. Notably, Deloitte expects e-commerce sales of $144-$149 billion during the holiday period.
Meanwhile, NRF expects online and other non-store sales growth of 11-14% this year to between $162.6 billion and $166.9 billion, indicating an improvement from last year’s $146.5 billion. Salesforce.com expects U.S. digital commerce revenues to rise 13% annually this year, with total sales poised to hit $136 billion in the United States and $768 billion globally.
ETF & Stock Bets
The Internet – Commerce industry is placed at the top 36% of 250+ industries). Against this backdrop, we believe that it will be prudent to bet on online retailing this holiday season (see all Consumer Discretionary ETFs here).
Online Retail Amplify ETF (IBUY - Free Report)
The underlying EQM Online Retail Index utilizes a rules-based methodology to select a globally diverse group of companies with 70% or more of revenues coming from online and virtual sales. It charges 65 bps in fees.
ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN - Free Report)
The underlying ProShares Online Retail Index is a specialized retail index that tracks retailers that principally sell online or through other non-store channels. It charges 58 bps in fees.
Groupon Inc. (GRPN - Free Report)
It is a website that offers daily discount deals. It has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Fiverr International Lt. (FVRR - Free Report)
The company provides an online marketplace for selling goods and services. It provides logo, poster and brochure designing as well as photoshop editing, content marketing, web analytics and translation services. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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