The tradition of waking up early the morning after Thanksgiving may be giving way to a new kind of shopping. For one, many brick and mortar retail stores opened on the evening or day of Thanksgiving for the very first time. Yet more consumers purchased items online – and this season included more mobile purchases than ever before. Take a look at these statistics from the IBM 2013 Holiday Benchmark report and BrandingBrand.com:
• Sales on mobile-optimized sites increased 187 percent
• iOS devices accounted for 65-70 percent of the visits/sales versus 39-34 percent for Android
• On Thanksgiving Day in particular, sales on smartphone-optimized sites increased 258 percent
• Visits on Thanksgiving Day increased 69 percent
• On Black Friday, mobile sales made up 22 percent of online sales, an increase of 43 percent over last year
• Smartphones browse, tablets buy: Although smartphones drove more traffic, tablet users made twice as many purchases
A Mobile-optimized Website is Critical
To see visits increase 69 percent, and sales increase 258 percent, people are spending more with mobile. These statistics, especially for IT and business leaders, stress the importance of having a mobile-optimized website. Optimization is more than just content formatting to fit smartphones and tablets. A mobile-optimized device must easily allow users to navigate, participate, make purchases, etc. to enable a seamless and positive customer experience.
The Power of Social Networking
On Black Friday, mobile shoppers via Pinterest spent 77 percent more than mobile shoppers referred by Facebook. However, Facebook referrals converted visits to sales at almost four times the rate of Pinterest. And, more retailers pushed offers directly to individuals – pop-up online offers during browsing, emails, or in-store offers sent to recognizable mobile devices.
The retail industry, which seems to lag behind other industries in terms of IT, is taking a lead in mobile optimization and social networking. The mobile success of Black Friday in the retail industry offers useful insight to businesses and IT.