HOLIDAY WEEKEND A RECORD-BREAKER FOR ONLINE SALES
One thing was abundantly clear leading up to Black Friday: online shopping was set to dominate the majority of weekend sales.
Early predictions indicated that online and mobile shopping would combine to take sales from faltering brick-and-mortar stores. According to CNN, the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that 59% of people planned to shop online this year, marking the first time that online shopping has been the preferred choice over walking into a mall or big box retailer like Walmart. In the long-term, this means smaller businesses will continue to struggle as people eventually shift over to online shopping.
As far as predictions go, the NRF was right on the mark. Adobe Digital Insights found that within the first 24 hours, starting on Friday, American shoppers spent a record $5 billion online, which translates into a 16.9% Yr/Yr increase in sales activity for Black Friday.
In-store traffic, meanwhile, experienced a dip of 2% compared to last year’s numbers, something that traditional retailers had prepared for leading up to the biggest shopping weekend of the year by heavily investing in promoting online offers, beefing up online content and ensuring the usability of their online stores allowed for a smooth path to purchase.
What is this really signaling? With a slight dip in foot traffic and a significant jump in online transactions, it’s clear that as a society we are much more comfortable purchasing bigger ticket items online than we once were.
SURVEY SAYS! MOBILE SHOPPING IS THE NEW NORM
This year marks the first time that less than half of all online sales were made from a desktop computer. Salesforce’s Rick Kenney notes that mobile traffic accounted for 60% of total traffic to retail sites. Consumers weren’t just visiting mobile websites for insights on deals; 42% of Black Friday orders were also made via mobile.
Consumers are shifting away from traditional methods of shopping, preferring online shopping. Consider that most online retailers can speak more directly to consumers. Even the traditional brick & mortar retailers with an ecommerce presence are heavily invested in a B2C strategy which customizes the advertisements and direct messages (i.e. email offers) to consumers, making the pitch so much more appealing.
You could argue that this could happen in both cases, which it can. But the main differentiator here is the ability to purchase the product at the point of impulse. Mobile becomes the perfect gateway for an impulse buy.
According to Deloitte, 38% of their holiday shopping survey participants suggested they would make a mobile purchase while in-store for the simple reason that they were able to find a better price somewhere online.
This trend is one which we should all pay attention to, even if we are not in a business traditionally impacted by Black Friday. Mobile cannot be an after though, it must be a fluid and always-present element within your marketing mix.
CYBER MONDAY 2017 MAKES THE HISTORY BOOKS
The weekend following Black Friday saw an incredible $15.12 billion spent by consumers, a +10.1% growth from 2016. But while those numbers are impressive on their own, Cyber Monday stole the show.
It took consumers only a matter of hours at the start of the day to spend a total of $840 million; By Monday's end, the digital event of the year grossed an absurd $6.59 billion, good enough for a full $1 billion increase from last year's sales and the record for largest online sales in a single day, according to Adobe Insights.
Overall, the 2017 Black Friday & Cyber Monday hype didn’t disappoint. The trends that we have been seeing around online sales growth and mobile usage continued as you would expect, although outpacing many analysists expectations. We anticipate even more growth again in 2018 as it feels like we still have a significant amount of room before we hit the celling on this annual event.