Published date: Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Mobile Sees Big Bucks On Black Friday Weekend

Black Friday is a notorious event for the retail industry – with big bucks and savings on offer. It’s hard to forget the videos of panic and overcrowding that are now so infamous that they’ve been parodied extensively on programmes like South Park. But for all the bustle and chaos, the biggest gains in Black Friday sales have gone from store to digital locations – especially mobile.

MediaPost was the first to report on this mcommerce ‘soar’ last week. Physical traffic declined, with shoppers less inclined to spend as much as 2014 – or, as MediaPost put it, ‘more of us love to shop in our pajamas’. Online sales also mean that shoppers don’t have to brave the queues of the superstores and malls across the US.  Overall ecommerce swelled by 18% – a trend surpassed only by purchases made on devices, which surpassed all expectations.

Mcommerce sales contributed $1.2bn sales according to Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, shattering estimates from the likes of Comscore and Nielsen who, though anticipating a break of the $1bn barrier, did not expect it to happen with such speed. This was around 36% of digital sales for the period, a large figure that has been growing year on year.

The key takeaway may not been simply how much money was made on the day however. MarketingLand was quick to report that, while consumers did make purchases predominantly over desktop, it was mobile devices that drove the greater portion of site traffic – 55% compared to the 45% on PC. The signs are clear – mobile provides a versatile, readily available opportunity for shoppers to research products and prices, beating the crowds and shopping on the go.

As Jordan Rost, Nielsen’s VP-Consumer Insights put it: “Mobile is making every moment a potential holiday shopping moment…You can sit on the couch with your family and still shop. You really can be two places at once.” Indeed, with bracing weather and the prospect of long queues, purchasing via mobile seems like a far more attractive option.

Adobe’s Marketing Cloud found further exciting news for mcommerce enthusiasts, as well as a signal for retailers, and, as a result, advertisers. Conversion rates on both mobile and tablet devices have doubled when compared with last year – going from 1.3 to 2.4%. Retailers have come to realise how pivotal it is to have mobile-optimised sites capable of handling transactions and research swiftly and conveniently – rather than simply seeing mobile sites as complementing a Desktop experience. With this omni-device approach proving increasingly effective in a time when High Street footfall isn’t guaranteed, no doubt this mcommerce trend will only continue.