Holiday shopping trends are constantly changing, and this year is no exception. As a greater number of shoppers shop online and use technology in stores, the way we shop is changing. More than ever, shoppers are enjoying the convenience and knowledge gained with shopping online. Here are the latest statistics about holiday shopping:



Holiday Shopping is Bigger than Ever


Black Friday got its name from being the date that retailers turn a profit, and it's true that the holidays put many shops over the top for sales. The figures for holiday shopping are staggering and show no signs of slowing down. Over $600 billion was spent during the holiday season in 2016, and $72 billion of that figure was spent online. The holiday season online accounts for nearly 25% of all e-commerce sales in the United States.



Shoppers Do Their Research


Impulse buying is largely a thing of the past, as more shoppers use technology to make sure they are getting the perfect gift and price. Shopping online may be about convenience, but it's also about taking the time to get things right. Over 90% of shoppers report going online to research gifts and compare prices. When it comes to gift selection, online reviews matter. About half of shoppers admit that they are frequently influenced by online reviews and ratings.



Free Shipping is a Big Draw


Over the years, free shipping has become the standard for holiday shopping. Almost every site has a free shipping promotion, and shoppers will make tradeoffs in order to avoid paying for shipping. About 70% of holiday shipments are sent at the retailer's expense. Customers have voiced their preference for free shipping, with most saying that they are willing to wait longer for a product if the shipping is free.



Mobile Shopping is Hot


Mobile shopping was barely on the radar five years ago, but times have changed. Shopping via mobile devices is taking off, with shoppers able to pick up items from anywhere they happen to be. Sales from mobile phones already account for 1/3 of all online holiday sales. This convenient form of holiday shopping is poised to grow even more in future years.



Stores Start Earlier


The holiday season is starting earlier and earlier these days. Many retailers are foregoing the tradition of waiting until after Thanksgiving to advertise. In fact, many don't even wait until Halloween. Nearly half of all retailers start their holiday marketing in October.