Marketers and customer experience leaders need to think about payment flexibility, mobile and balancing paid search with direct relationships, according to Adobe Analytics data on the holiday shopping season.

The headline number is that consumers spent $222.1 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, up 4.9% from a year ago. For marketers and executives in charge of customer experience (CX) there are a few other takeaways to ponder. Here's a look.

Pricing strategies and payment options are part of the experience. Adobe said that shoppers found discounts that peaked at 31% off listed price. In addition, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) usage hit $16.6 billion, up 14% from a year ago.

Experiences must be mobile. Mobile shipping overtook desktop this holiday season and represented 51.1% of online sales, up from 47% in 2022.

Curbside pickup was used for 18.4% of online orders this holiday season, down from 21% in 2022, and represented one out of every five online orders. I'd argue there's an economic hook for curbside pickup usage too. I spend less when buying online and picking up.

Social isn't closing sales. Revenue directly attributed to social media during the holiday season was less than 5%.

Paid search dominates retail marketing. According to Adobe, 29.4% of online sales were attributed to paid search followed by direct web visits at 19.3%, affiliates at 16.6%, organic search 15.9% and email at 15.3%. The biggest takeaway is that landing customers requires a portfolio approach when it comes to marketing.