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Binge-Watching, Big Buys and Bed: PayPal Predicts Cyber Monday and Holiday Shopping Trends

Nov 25 2016 13:40


Please wash your hands after shopping!

By PayPal

As a global leader in digital payments, PayPal sees the online shopping landscape unlike anyone else in the world. We get to take part in how technology is radically transforming the shopping experience, which is most visible during the festive season. 

Much like PayPal, holiday shopping has grown beyond simply one button at one moment, now encompassing the freedom of mobile devices and the security and simplicity to make a purchase, with confidence, at a moment’s notice.

Shoppers will take advantage of this freedom in many ways: to help relieve the stress of the season, to take advantage of a great deal, or sometimes, conducting their sending, spending and giving in an entirely new place! We combined data from our network with a new survey to better understand these trends and here’s what we discovered.

Shoppers will turn to mobile to stress less, buy big and make the most of Cyber Monday.

Many consumers find holiday shopping to be stressful; so much so they’d rather do a multitude of unenviable activities than fight the holiday shopping crowds.; 1-in- 5 Young Boomers and Gen-Xers would rather go to the dentist; and, about 1-in-5 Millennials (19%) would rather text with their boss over the weekend.

Fortunately, more and more shoppers are taking advantage of their mobile devices to simplify their shopping. Thanks to innovations like PayPal One Touch™, where shoppers can remain logged in to check out faster across millions of merchants, PayPal saw a 56% year-over-year increase in mobile payment transactions this past quarter and we expect to see more shoppers turn to their mobile devices during holidays.  

Smartphone shopping isn’t just for stocking stuffers, however – PayPal predicts the largest holiday transaction on mobile will cost more than $64 000 (more than R850 000).

Not too long ago, the thought of buying via mobile is the equivalent of a beautiful car on a mobile device seemed like the distant future!

28 November is known across the globe as Cyber Monday, and is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. We anticipate this Cyber Monday will mark the summit of the shopping season once again, and PayPal expects more than $25 000 (more than R300 000) in Total Payment Volume (TPV) per second at peak of Cyber Monday – with 40% of Millennials planning to shop on a mobile device that day. 

Anytime, anywhere shopping will reach new heights … and locations.

Even more than how they pay, shoppers are also particular about how and when they shop this season.

Case in point: 22% of respondents to a PayPal survey reported they will shop on the toilet—an increase of 7 percentage points over 2014! Furthermore, more than a third (34%) will shop in bed for their partner or spouse while they are sleeping next to them.

Also interesting, is the rise of the second screen: 59% of Millennials plan do to their holiday shopping while binge-watching TV. All that TV binging could signal what’s on their wish list as PayPal predicts consumers will spend more than $141m on digital music and entertainment subscriptions this holiday season with PayPal.

Fortunately, wherever consumers are or what else they’re doing at the time, PayPal connects them with a vast network of 15 million merchants – from local artisans to big retailers – all over the world so they can find one-of-a-kind gifts without even having to leave the couch (or, wherever they may be).


Shopping and socializing will collide this festive season, as consumers eat, drink and shop merry.

Combining shopping with dinner or drinks is no longer considered the faux pas it once was, especially if there is a bargain to be had. In general, one in five Millennials will shop at the dinner table with family and friends.

They won’t be shopping parched, either: one-third of Millennials will have a drink while shopping for holiday gifts. For those shoppers who buy something that doesn’t fit, isn’t right, or just regret the choice they made after a few too many drinks, shoppers can get their eligible return shipping costs reimbursed when shopping with PayPal.  Limitations apply.  

We’re excited about the festive season ahead and can’t wait to hear about all the fun ways our consumers will spend and give this year!

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