Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Mobile’s Emergence As A Force Of eCommerce

Nearly 30% of the online traffic on Black Friday and Cyber Monday came from smartphones and tablets, representing a 61% jump over last year. A specific exception, at Walmart.com, mobile accounted for 55% of traffic on Black Friday, and, as Joel Anderson, CEO of Walmart.com is quoted: "2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile." Actually, many surveyors proclaimed this year's Cyber Monday retail trend to be the biggest e-commerce spending day in US history, as IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, ComScore, Adobe, Custora, USA Today and others reported that online sales for this year's Cyber Monday were up between 17.5 percent and 19 percent over last year.

Some Black Friday weekend figures from the National Retail Foundation:

Total purchases: 57.4B (down 2.9%)

Total shoppers: 141M (up 1.4%)

Average spending 407.2 (down 3.9%)

Mobile’s 18.3% share of total e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday was a step down from the previous few days, particularly from the 24% average across Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to Adobe. Even so, that 18.3% share of a growing pie means that smartphones ($129 million) and tablets ($290 million) together accounted for $419 million in sales.

As mobile devices are increasingly used by shoppers to research product information; check the price of items, and then buy, IBM’s data demonstrates that mobile shopping did grow significantly from last year – with traffic increasing by 45% to 31.7% share of all online traffic, and total sales growing by 55.4% year-over-year to surpass 17% share. But mobile’s share of traffic was down 20% from Black Friday while its share of sales was down 21%.

ChannelAdvisor data indicated that mobile’s share of traffic on Cyber Monday (32.4%) was down from Black Friday (39.6%), as was mobile’s share of orders (21% vs. 27%).

Data from ComScore indicated that retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers alone totaled $1.735 billion, representing a strong 18% increase from last year’s figure, and the biggest single-day total yet by comScore’s tabulations. Meanwhile, Adobe reported that total online sales grew 16% to hit a new high of $2.29 billion.

The reason for the desktop figures is probably attributable to the fact that many consumers shopped from work on Monday. According to ComScore’s data, 49.2% of Cyber Monday desktop sales came from work computers, up from 47.1% last year.

Some highlights from Cyber Monday and the broader holiday period to-date:

* Consumers seemed more comfortable shopping from their computers on Cyber Monday.

* The Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday period saw 22% more desktop-based sales than the corresponding period last year. .

* Social media referrals led to $150 million in revenues from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday (although it’s worth pointing out that social’s influence tends to be seen earlier in the purchase process).

* Mobiles, which played such a big role on Thanksgiving weekend, were not as prevalent on Cyber Monday.

* While smartphones drove more traffic than tablets on Cyber Monday (19.7% share vs. 11.5%), IBM found that tablets fueled twice as many sales (11.7% share vs. 5.5%), with tablet owners also spending more per order than smartphone owners ($126.30 vs. $106.49).

* The top-gaining product categories per comScore, for the Thanksgiving Day-Cyber Monday period (desktop-only) were: consumer electronics; video game consoles and accessories; home and garden; apparel and accessories; and sport and fitness.

For more information, go to UpstreamCommerce.com.  

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Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
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