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Mobile sales surpass one billion dollars for first time

Mobile had its biggest day in history this year, with Black Friday being the first day that mobile revenue surpassed $1 billion.

The data comes from Adobe Marketing Cloud, which tracked the number of sales on the biggest shopping day of the year. This is a major milestone for mobile and signals the arrival of mobile as a dominant force in the world of commerce.

“There are two big takeaways with this milestone,” said Ray Pun, head of product marketing for mobile at Adobe Marketing Cloud. “The first is further indication of how dominant mobile has become as a means for consumers to interact with the world around them.

“The second – and more important finding – is the conversion gap. If we look at Black Friday numbers, there is a 19 percent different between visits (55 percent) and actual purchases (36 percent).

“What this means is that despite retailers acquiring a sizable mobile audience, shoppers are hitting stumbling blocks. And retailers are not investing quickly enough to offset some of the contraction we see in desktop and tablet commerce.”

Black Friday
Black Friday is almost routinely the biggest day for retailers both online and offline, seeing revenue and sales skyrocket and store floors flood with customers.

Retailers of all stripes look forward to this day and it is useful to look at the data each year to discover trends and see what forces are driving revenue in the biggest way.

This year, mobile had one of the loudest statements on that matter. As mobile has continued to grow in popularity as a commerce channel, this year it finally reached a huge milestone with over one billion dollars in sales from mobile commerce.

That is one fifth of all online sales, which Adobe puts at around 5.3 billion.

Overall, there was increase of 17 percent in online sales from last year.

Mobile milestone
Another interesting data point from Adobe’s analysis found that overall conversion rates were much higher on Black Friday than on any other day of the holiday season so far. For mobile, conversion rates doubled from 1.3 percent to 2.4 percent.

Tablets and desktop saw similar increases in conversion.

In terms of the relationship between phones and tablets, smartphones drove more sales overall, though tablets did not lag far behind.

On Thanksgiving Day, overall spending was 1.9 billion dollars, with 40 percent of that coming from mobile phones. Smartphones drove twice as many sales as tablets on that day.

The reaching of one billion dollars in sales from the mobile channel is a major milestone and suggests that mobile has fully come into its role as one of the primary digital touchpoints between brands and consumers.

Now, the task at hand for retailers and mobile marketers is to continue working to make mobile even more personalized, even more user-friendly and even more prevalent in consumers’ lives as mobile revenue will continue to grow over the next few years.

“Major improvements will need to be made to simplify and personalize the experience for consumers,” Mr. Pun said.

“We expect mobile revenue to continue growing,” Mr. Pun said. “On Black Friday alone, we saw a 33 percent growth year-over-year.

“However, we also forecast that if current traffic and revenue trends continue – where desktop and tablet are declining – the average retailer stands to pass on eleven percent of potential revenue by the end of 2017. Retailers will need to address the challenges that shoppers currently experience when shopping via a mobile device, to ensure that this channels grows quickly enough to bolster e-commerce as a whole.”