Mobile Shopping Increased by Over 21% During Black Friday 2016

As was to be expected, the Black Friday shopping spree has set some new records. Early projections indicate a total revenue of US$3bn in the US alone. What is rather interesting, however, is how over one in three purchases were made through mobile devices, a significant step in the right direction for US mobile sales, and  a sign of things to come.

A Good Black Friday For US Retailers

Any Black Friday is usually a good day for retailers, regardless of whether they sell online or in-store. One advantage of online shopping is how customers can avoid getting trampled by the masses, which is always a preferred option. But it appears that consumers are flocking to online sales for other reasons as well.

With a projected revenue of US$3.34bn for 2016, numbers are up by over 21% compared to the same period in 2015. That is quite a surprise, although growth was expected by many experts. The real shocker, however, was how many purchases were made through mobile devices, which accounted for US$1.2bn in revenue.

Then again, these numbers should not surprise anyone in this day and age of widespread mobile usage. Consumers rely on phones and tablets for virtually everything in their daily lives, and shopping plays a big part. Moreover, using a mobile device makes it easier to check out Black Friday deals on the couch, rather than grabbing a laptop or sitting behind the computer.

Mobile traffic was on the rise for every major online commerce platform. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and others all noted a peak in mobile internet traffic. Amazon even stated how their Black Friday 2016 mobile orders were higher than last year’s Cyber Monday. This is a positive development, although it remains to be seen if the trend will continue throughout next Monday.

On the topic of which devices consumers rely upon for mobile shopping, smartphones remain the tool of choice with 29% of all sales. Tablets, while offering a larger screen, only accounted for 11%.  It doesn’t seem to matter to consumers how much real estate their device’s screen has, as long as the convenience factor is present.

Despite the popularity of smartphone-based mobile shopping, conversation rates are very low at just under 2%. Tablets generate nearly a 4% rate, putting them just below desktop conversation rates. These are rather surprising numbers, as it shows that impulse purchases are not necessarily native to smartphone users by any means.

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