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Mobile brightens Cyber Monday with 50pc of traffic, 30pc of sales

While consumers headed back to work on Monday after the long holiday weekend, they still had shopping on the mind, with Adobe reporting significant sales volumes by 10 a.m. ET yesterday, suggesting that many consumers were shopping from their phones in bed or during their commute. Cyber Monday is expected to bring in approximately $3 billion in sales, which would make it the biggest day ever for online shopping.

“With most deals starting late Sunday night or in the early hours of Monday morning the smartphone is the device of choice for shoppers during these hours,” said Maya Mikhailov, co-founder and chief marketing officer of GPShopper. “We have seen and continue to see record numbers this year with our client app visits and purchases.”

A week of deals
With a number of retailers initiating their Cyber Monday sales at midnight, Adobe tracked $490 billion in sales by 10 a.m. ET yesterday. This is a new record and 14 percent higher than during the same period last year.

Adobe measures 80 percent of all online transactions from the top 100 retailers in the United States.

In terms of mobile traffic, smartphones accounted for 41 percent of shopping visits while tablets accounted for 12 percent.

On the mobile sales front, smartphones drove 20 percent of sales and tablets 12 percent.

More than $156 million in sales from yesterday morning are attributed to mobile, $98 million on smartphones and $58 million on tablets.

With foot traffic into bricks-and-mortar stores light over the holiday weekend, retailers are hoping for a successful Cyber Monday, with many ramping up with promises of special deals all week long.

Social mentions
Cyber Monday was also a bigger driver of social mentions, with numerous retailers taking to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and elsewhere to promote their special offers.

Cyber Monday drove more than 150,000 social mentions so by 10 a.m. ET yesterday. Amazon took an early lead in social media buzz for Cyber Monday with eBay a close second.

The data from Thanksgiving and Black Friday suggests that consumers at are turning to their smartphones during the holiday weekend to help them take advantage of the numerous special deals available while still trying to make the most of the time with their families (see story).

Mobile had a 37 percent share of online sales on Thanksgiving Day, up from 26 percent last year, according to Adobe. Mobile drove $380 million in sales on Thanksgiving Day, with smartphones accounting for 22 percent of sales and tablets 15 percent.

“We believe that the rapidly changing landscape of retail in the mobile age calls for retailers and advertisers alike to do much more to engage with the new ways in which most Americans currently shop,” said Paul Neto, vice president of research at Yume. “From smarter, better contextualized ads geared for mobile to more intricate offerings delivered through an ever-widening range of mobile challenges, we expect to see many changes pertaining to this shift in habits.”

A generational approach
For retailers, the challenge and the opportunity with mobile is understanding how to leverage it throughout the shopping journey, from online research to in-store visits to completing a purchase.

It is clear that shoppers are using mobile in the store while gift shopping. Yume conducted a survey of shoppers on Saturday, with 70 percent of respondents having shopped on Black Friday and 36 percent reporting having used their smartphone while in-store.

As the role of smartphones continues to grow, retailers also need to recognize that different age groups are leveraging the device in different ways.

A new report released yesterday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that consumers aged 18 to 34 are more likely to favor smartphones for retail activities than any other age group.

Across all age groups, 35 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase using a tablet compared to 28 percent who prefer smartphones.

However, isolating the 18-to-34 demographic reveals a different picture, with 43 percent of these consumers more likely to make a purchase on a smartphone compared to 35 percent on a tablet.

These younger consumers are also more likely to use a smartphone to read a product review, check prices.

A mobile future
In comparison, older consumers are more likely to use tablets for these same activities.

The findings point to how smartphone shopping is only going to become more important in the future as younger consumer grow older.

“Some retailers not only took advantage but also actively drove to the mobile channel on Thanksgiving via exclusive offers and early access to promotions,” Ms. Mikhailov said. “Also some retailers smartly updated their apps preholiday to take advantage of Touch ID and Apple Pay, smoothing the commerce flow for their shoppers during these critical days.

“Others are falling further behind by not taking advantage of the obvious pre-shopping behavior leading up to Thanksgiving and push notification strategy to drive immediate mobile transactions over the weekend,” she said. “They are just treating mobile as an afterthought and unfortunately their shoppers are becoming frustrated and moving on.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York