I love eTail West - and not just because I get to stay in warmer climates (sorry, New England folks!), but because eTail West is a meeting of the savviest minds in the retail space. Not only am I excited about the upcoming show, but also about some of our own recent retail announcements that align with the type of innovation showcased throughout the conference.
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With an increase of awareness and interest in Bots' impact - both good and bad - on retail, travel and hospitality companies, Akamai wanted to leverage its global view of the Internet to see what changes occurred for Bot traffic during the recent holiday shopping days for North American retailers.
The 2015 holiday shopping period lifted off with a bang, setting revenue records for the Thanksgiving weekend and indicating strong revenue trends for the holiday season.
Data from Akamai Retail Net Usage Index, a tool which monitors the company's retail customers' real-time website traffic in page views per minute, supported this trend, as the average page views per minute over the five-days was nearly 70 percent above the baseline. In North America the highest spike was on Black Friday, a 109 percent increase, as people sought to avoid lines at the store and the general chaos associated with "traditional" Black Friday shopping. Thanksgiving day was a close second at an 80 percent increase over baseline. As digital takes more and more share from in-store shopping, industry research indicates that digital shopping activity will be spread out more evenly across the weekend and the entire holiday period. This better accommodates the family focused nature of the weekend, while still catering to shoppers' desire to find bargains.
Two weeks ago key players in the travel industry gathered from around the world to discover, debate and capitalize on the latest trends and opportunities in travel at the PhocusWright Conference in Fort Lauderdale. One of the hottest topics on the agenda was how to improve the travelers' experience from booking to actually traveling - and how important mobile is to that process. While mobile devices generate 25 percent of the transactions for the travel industry, that actually lags behind other retail verticals for mobile device sales.
It's never too early to prepare when you're a retailer gearing up for the holiday rush, especially with the continued growth in online commerce. Now is usually the time that shoppers begin making their shopping plans, and even start to make purchases. To help prepare, we've pulled together three essential elements for providing an exceptional customer experience during the holidays, and ultimately converting shoppers into buyers!
With the holiday season quickly approaching, retailers are thinking through every element of their company's eCommerce plans to significantly boost sales during the busiest shopping time of the year. One of the biggest drivers of online retail sales is user experience, so retailers should place increased emphasis on bolstering the following customer touchpoints during the holiday rush to ensure positive brand interactions that convert browsing into sales: