santa_mgb250x275The Christmas shopping season is coming so here are some 2018 and projected 2019 online holiday shopping statistics. As you plan your email marketing, SEO and paid search campaigns for auto parts, keep these online shopping days in mind.

Selling auto parts for the holidays

Can you sell auto parts and accessories for Christmas? Yes you can. As we point out in another article, many online retailers successfully sell parts and accessories during the holiday shopping season.

According to our agency team at Google, in 2018, eCommerce had its biggest holiday season ever, at $853 billion (all retail, not just automotive parts & accessories). Year-over-year growth was over 18%. For the first time ever, more than half of holiday purchases occurred online.

2019 online holiday shopping statistics for auto parts

online shopping days 2018

Biggest 2018 holiday online and retail shopping days, courtesy of our agency team at Google.

We looked at the 2018 and 2019 calendars and we gathered some statistics from 2018. Here is a calendar of biggest shopping days from 2018, from our agency team at Google.

One important thing to keep in mind: In 2018 there were four full, seven-day weeks between Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. , 2018) and Christmas. This year there are only three full weeks between Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019) and Christmas. Another way to look at it: there are only 25 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2019, vs. 31 shopping days in 2018. This compresses and shortens the 2019 online holiday buying season.

Monday, November 26, 2018, better known as Cyber Monday, topped comScore Inc.’s list of top 2018 holiday season shopping days with $6 billion in online sales. (Cyber Monday was $1.5 billion in 2012, so 2018 was a 300% increase from 2012!) In 2019 Cyber Monday is December 2, 2019. Note that comScore is tracking all online sales, not just auto parts.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday have turned into good online shopping days compared to several years ago, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. While Shopify forecasted Thanksgiving 2019 at $3.7 billion and Black Friday 2019 at $6.2 billion, it also forecasted a much higher December than November.

December 2019 is projected at $65.5 billion vs. $58.5 billion for November 2019. Note these Shopify online holiday shopping statistics are for all online sales, not just auto parts.

Adobe posted their Digital Insights Holiday Recap 2018 with some interesting shopping statistics. After the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday spike, daily online sales grew through the Monday 8 days out from Christmas. Translate that to 2019: Monday, December 16 is your last, big online shopping opportunity.

BFCM defined

You may see “BFCM” referred to when discussing holiday online shopping. BFCM stands for “Black Friday Cyber Monday” and is retail shorthand for this busy online shopping four-day period. (Or, some retailers include Thanksgiving for five total days when referring to BFCM.)

Sell auto parts on Mondays and Tuesdays in December

There are three Mondays and three Tuesdays that are critical to success with your 2019 online holiday shopping. Monday (Cyber Monday 2019) and Tuesday, Dec. 2 and 3; Dec. 9 (Green Monday 2019) and 10, and Dec. 16 and 17.

Time your promotions to coincide with these days to maximize your sales opportunities.

Mobile is more popular for holiday online shopping

As you probably know, mobile traffic and mobile conversions have been growing in recent years. Mobile now represents the majority of online traffic.

Google and Ipsos reported that 50% of holiday shoppers’ online purchases back in 2017 were mobile. According to Adobe, 51% of 2018 holiday shopper website visits were from a smartphone. They also claim 32% of total BFCM revenue came from smartphones in 2018.

Google reports that in 2018, 61% of online purchases were on mobile devices, an increase of 27% from 2017.

Mobile traffic is only continuing to grow. It’s a good idea to evaluate the customer experience (UX) on your website from the perspective of a mobile shopper. Make sure any promotion for holiday shopping renders well on mobile phones: not just automotive product pages but also any banners or promotional text.

Email is a powerful BFCM sales tool

In 2018 retailers sent billions of emails to customers for BFCM and the holiday selling season. Email remains a powerful marketing tool to increase holiday sales.

Marketers: build your digital storefront

Now is the time to prepare for the 2019 holiday shopping season. Look for ways to expand your product offering and help shoppers. Google reports that in 2018, 40% of holiday shoppers wished that retailers did a better job sharing their inventory online. More than 80% of holiday shoppers who searched on Google were specifically looking for brand and product information, so make sure your website has maximum visibility through paid search campaigns and SEO.

Your Merchant Center product data feed is critical for holiday success using Google Shopping. Google has some tips to optimize your Merchant Center product data. As always, Hedges & Company uses best practices for Merchant Center feeds, so if you have any questions on this please let us know.

Drive online auto parts sales with best practices

This photo of a truck decorated for Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with this article. We just think it’s really, really cool. For more pictures like this, click the photo.

Before holiday shopping hits, make sure your online advertising is using best practices.

Online ads with extensions have an average 10%-15% increase in clickthrough rate (CTR). You can be creative with online ads, like using countdown timers, for example. If you have retail locations, use location extensions for Google Search, Shopping, Display and YouTube campaigns.

Remarketing is also critical to holiday sales success. Google reports that 77% of shoppers regularly or occasionally abandon a shopping cart when they shop online. Remarketing lets you reconnect with these shoppers, especially with abandoned shopping cart campaigns.

Questions on BFCM marketing?

Do you have questions on marketing auto parts and accessories for the holiday season? Want to make sure you’re using best practices? Give us a call, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about selling more parts for the 2019 holiday season.