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The Year Black Friday Went Mobile

images2The mobile momentum carried into Black Friday, which saw a surge in both online and mobile shopping as consumers brought their devices into the store to comparison shop. Overall Black Friday online sales were up 9.5 percent year-over-year with mobile devices accounting for one-in-four of all online purchases. New York City also retained its title as the top U.S. city for Black Friday online shopping.

For the remainder of the season, “every day is going to be Black Friday, every minute is going to be Cyber Monday,” says National Retail Federation (NRF) CEO Matthew Shay “[Retailers] can’t let up for an instant because of the competitive nature of what’s happening out there.”

Here are some key takeaways according to IBM’s digital analytics report for 2014:

  • Historic Mobile Milestone Spurs Online Shopping: Thanksgiving Day mobile traffic accounted for 52.1 percent of all online traffic – the first time mobile devices have outpaced their PC counterparts for online browsing.
  • Thanksgiving Eats Into Black Friday Sales: This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: As the new digital shopping companion for many consumers, smartphones drove 34.7 percent of all Black Friday online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 14.6 percent of all traffic. Yet, when it comes to mobile sales, tablets continue to win the shopping war
  • Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales. Facebook referrals drove an average of $109.94 per order compared to $100.24 for Pinterest, a difference of nearly 10 percent. Facebook referrals converted online sales at more than twice the rate of Pinterest
  • Less Frequent, More Targeted Email Promos: Retailers sent an average of 5.3 emails on Black Friday 2014. Open and click-through rates were 12.9 percent and 2.4 percent, on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day, compared to 15.4 percent and 2.8 percent respectively, last year.

For the first time, holiday shoppers’ online traffic from mobile devices outpaced traditional PCs on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day saw a new mobile tipping point with smartphones and tablets accounting for 52.1 percent of all online traffic while social drove stronger than ever conversion rates for retailers.images1

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