Neither long lines at the polls nor the distraction of a highly significant set of races was enough to disrupt online retail growth on Election Day 2018, which was up 13.2% year-over-year compared to Election Day 2017, according to Adobe Analytics. Total e-Commerce sales reached $1.48 billion for the day.
Mobile commerce was the biggest beneficiary of Election Day’s retail quirks: smartphones accounted for 25.1% of all sales (a 28.3% increase over 2017) and 44.3% of visits. Mobile devices in general were responsible for 51.6% of visits and 32.6% of revenue.
Mobile devices drove sales by letting shoppers log in while waiting on line to vote, or enabling them to simultaneously browse e-Commerce and the news. The latter capability was particular important, as visits to news-related web sites spiked 311% compared to an average day in October.
“Election Day, while providing distractions in the form of news coverage and voting delays, merely drove consumers to source new ways to shop while keeping track of election results,” said Taylor Schreiner, Director of Adobe Digital Insights in a statement. “Smartphone usage and news site access went up, prompting shoppers to turn to multi-screen or multi-device methods to continue searching and shopping. Predictions of a record-breaking retail season remain on track.”
Other Election Day results: average order volume (AOV) was up 4% to $139. Paid search was the top promotion driver, generating 22.2% of sales on Election Day. Email promotions accounted for 18% of sales, followed by shopper helper sites at 5.4% and social networks at 1.7%.
The holiday season is already off to a strong start, as the first six days of November each topped $1 billion in online sales. Sales growth for this period hit 12.7%, slightly below Adobe’s predictions but still well within the firm’s expectations.