Buoyed by mobile, Black Friday shopping off to strong start
- Brick-and-mortar store traffic was lighter than usual following the early morning rush for door busters, according to CNN Money. However, thanks to a well-planned sales schedule, retailers appear to be enjoying strong online traffic as shoppers spent close to $3 billion on Thanksgiving Day alone, according to an Adobe Analytics report emailed to Retail Dive.
- Mobile accounted for 61% of all website traffic on Thanksgiving Day, Adobe reported. Shoppers placed 51% more orders on smartphones than last year, according to a Salesforce report emailed to Retail Dive.
- Conversion rates were up across devices, Adobe said, with the average Thanksgiving Day order pegged at $132, which is up 3.2% from 2016.
While not quite dead, Black Friday certainly seems diminished this year. Sure — there were plenty of lines at many stores in the pre-dawn hours, but the day has calmed down as those seeking door busters were replaced by less urgent, more purposeful customers, according to reports.
Retailers' efforts to create a more strategic, extended event over the long Black Friday weekend are starting to take hold, however. At the very least, shoppers are turning to — and converting on — digital in record numbers. They're also starting to shop earlier and more heavily on Thanksgiving day, albeit mostly online.
Based on Adobe Analytics data, $2.87 billion was spent online Thursday, an 18.3% jump over last Thanksgiving. Overall, $33.26 billion have been spent online from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23, a 17.9% increase over the same period last year.
Early indications suggest Black Friday itself got off to a strong start — at least online, according to Adobe, which recorded $640 million spent spend as of 10 a.m. Eastern Time, an 18.4% growth over last year.
The real winner so far this season is mobile. Shopping on mobile has hit record highs this Thanksgiving, representing 61.1% of visits (50.9% of which is coming from smartphones) and 46.2% of revenue, according to Adobe. Shoppers placed 48% more orders on smartphones on Thanksgiving this year over last, surpassing computers for the first time ever, according to Salesforce.
"The big story this holiday season is in mobile shopping. Retailers know this is where the audience is now and are delivering better experiences," Mickey Mericle, vice president, marketing and customer insights at Adobe, wrote to Retail Dive. "On both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the gap between mobile traffic and revenue is closing. Shoppers looking for discounts are getting better at using smartphones to quickly close the deal, and we are seeing better mobile conversion this season at over 10% growth."
Mobile captured close to 46% of all orders, thanks to a 12% increase in conversion rate. In fact, mobile accounted accounting for 61% of all traffic on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe, thanks to 33% more visits from smartphones. In general, mobile revenue was up 29% on Thursday while traffic increased 23%.
Personalization has become a big trend for retailers and Salesforce tried to measure its impact on sales for the first time. While just 5% of shoppers clicked or tapped on a personalized product recommendation, they accounted for 28% of all revenue — making them some of the most profitable customers for retailers.
The entire Black Friday weekend could ring up close to $20 billion in sales across all channels, Adobe projected.
But it's important to remember it's not all about Black Friday anymore: Retailers are already looking ahead to Cyber Monday and being far more strategic in structuring the next big holiday shopping event. Target has expanded this group of sales to a full week while Amazon's Cyber Monday sales start Saturday Nov. 25, according to a note emailed to Retail Dive.
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