Mobile devices drove the majority of retail site visits during the Black Friday weekend and were responsible for more than a third of total revenues, according to new data published by Adobe. Total online retail sales in the US surpassed $5 billion for the first time, with mobile accounting for $1.2 billion of that figure.
Clearly, 2016 has been the year of mobile, and the revolution showed no signs of slowing down as smartphones dominated the online buying experience for consumers during Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Mobile was responsible for around 36 per cent of all revenues during the period, despite the fact that many ecommerce sites still provide suboptimal experiences on smartphones and tablets.
A separate report by analytics enterprise comScore found that 90 million of the 116 million Internet users who visited online retail sites on Black Friday used mobile devices, compared to 52 million on desktop computers. Many people still see the value in using both platforms to complete the buying cycle, as 26 million navigated sites on smartphones and PCs.
In another Black Friday analysis by Criteo, iPhone owners were the more active shoppers, with user growth increasing by 59 per cent on the big day compared to 18 per cent for Android phones. Apple’s platform also saw a 58 per cent increase in transaction growth versus 27 per cent for Android. While more shoppers are flocking to smartphones to take advantage of deals and offers, transactions on tablets are showing a steady decline across the board.
The key takeaway from the latest Black Friday data is the growth of online shopping, which outpaced store traffic significantly. Shoppers are now favouring convenience much more than in the past, though a large percentage of online transactions are still being generated on the apps and sites of big-name retailers, which suggests that customers still value brand affinity and the ability to return goods to physical stores.
Mobile shopping will continue to play a major role in buying habits in the run-up to Christmas. Cyber Monday is set to drive more than $1 billion in transactions on US mobile devices, while total retail sales across the entire festive period are predicted to exceed $650 billion, with mobile being a key element.