While official numbers are still being tallied for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, one thing is for sure, mobile was a big winner. Consumers opted to skip the crowded stores and instead shop from their mobile devices. The 4 day shopping extravaganza (Black Friday through to Cyber Monday) saw a same-store, aggregate increase in mobile commerce revenue of 99.70% compared to last year.
Shoppers Going Mobile
Shoppers are constantly connected to their mobile devices and Black Friday was no different. Mobile accounted for 57% of online shopping traffic and 34% of online sales. When shoppers reach for their mobile device their expectations are high, and a poor mobile experience will have them searching for a replacement in seconds. Brands must provide a mobile-optimized website, but many now go beyond that, offering native apps that create a richer experience, push notifications that keep customers engaged, and personalized content that builds customer loyalty and drives sales.
Wal-mart, which offers an app with store maps and digital gift lists, said that about half of its online sales came from mobile over Thanksgiving weekend, almost double from last year.
A New Approach To Black Friday
As Black Friday evolves, retailers are taking a different approach to the holiday. REI shocked the retail world when they announced that they would close their doors on the biggest shopping day of the year, paying all its employees and encouraging them to “opt outside”. The publicity from the campaign gained far more attention than a one-day sale would have and led to a 26% jump in ecommerce traffic to REI’s site on Black Friday.
Staples and Macy’s also tried out something new, offering most sales items online the day before they hit stores.
As the mobile shopping experience improves and consumers become more comfortable making purchases on their smartphone, the notion of a big one-day in-store sale becomes more and more irrelevant. Retail leaders recognize this and are changing their strategies to accommodate the connected consumer.