One of the most important times of the year for retailers, the four days that follow Thanksgiving are considered the official kick-off for the holiday shopping season, pulling in a large percentage of annual sales. Last year, the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought in a staggering one billion dollars in revenue. With the rapid growth of the eCommerce industry, online promotional sales have become increasingly popular on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday with many offers extending through the entire weekend — some even spanning the entire week.
Following the 2018 weekend of deals, First Data reported that overall sales increased more than six percent from last year with small businesses experiencing a five percent surge in sales. Delve into the more specific details from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this year to learn how your business was affected and what retailers can expect for the rest of the holiday shopping season.
Mobile Shopping Increased
In the world of eCommerce, there’s a lot of talk about the importance of mobile shopping and theories on how to overcome some of the most common issues with mobile commerce (mCommerce). With 77 percent of Americans using smartphones on a daily basis, more people are using their devices to shop on the go.
After Black Friday, the data revealed that for first time ever mCommerce sales raked in more than $2 billion, proving that consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones to make purchases. On Cyber Monday, 43.6 percent of internet traffic came from those using mobile devices. Combined with almost eight percent of users browsing on tablets, this statistic means that more than half of all eCommerce traffic originated from devices other than desktops and laptops.
These numbers tell eCommerce owners that mobile is more important than ever, meaning mobile optimization is the key to converting this high-level of traffic into revenue. Though many people are browsing on their phones, conversion rates for mobile are still extremely low when compared to desktop/laptop sales. From this point on, eCommerce businesses should be focusing on how to create a quick and seamless mobile checkout process to get better conversions, particularly before the next holiday shopping season occurs.
More People Shopped on Thanksgiving
Traditionally, the best Black Friday deals take place in the days after the holiday, but both eCommerce businesses and conventional retail stores have trended towards offering special discounts on Thanksgiving night. This year, Adobe Analytics cited Thanksgiving as the fastest growing holiday for shoppers due to early Black Friday sales, an opportunity consumers participated in at record high numbers. Instead of rushing out to the stores after an evening with friends and family, shoppers tend to prefer shopping from the comfort of their home, creating a greater desire for steep discounts to be made available online before Cyber Monday.
Black Friday / Cyber Monday eCommerce Sales Were Up Year-Over-Year
Traditionally, Black Friday was a day of in-store sales while online deals were restricted to Cyber Monday. Over the years, these two shopping days have merged to become a long weekend of discounts.
By the end of Black Friday, eCommerce sales alone had reached $6.22 billion, a 23.6 percent increase year-over-year. After the Cyber Monday madness settled down, industry experts reported that Americans spent $7.9 billion, a 19.7 percent increase from 2017.
This notable increase is significant for eCommerce companies of every size because it clearly exhibits that consumer preferences are continually shifting towards online shopping. From this data, it can be deduced that eCommerce businesses will continue to see growth next year, and it may mean that online retailers will want to spend more time crafting their holiday marketing plans to optimize their revenue.
Younger Shoppers Are Spending More
One of the more surprising results from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 included data on how much people were spending over the weekend. The National Retail Federation found that millennials on average spent $149 to purchase items for themselves rather than as gifts, which was the highest amount spent by any generation for this purpose.
Though older millennials and members of Gen X still plan to spend more on gifts than younger Gen Z-ers, the fact that shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 are willing to spend money on themselves may change the way retailers market to younger age groups. In the future, social media campaigns will continue to be vital to capturing the attention of these young shoppers.
Recap of Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2018
- Mobile sales reached an all-time high.
- Traffic to eCommerce sites from smartphones rose significantly.
- Consumers broke records for revenue on Cyber Monday.
- Thanksgiving shopping is rapidly growing in popularity, with many businesses offering Black Friday deals earlier.
- Small business sales grew by more than 5 percent this holiday shopping season.
If recent trends continue, the frenetic in-store experience on Black Friday may become a thing of the past. Mobile devices have emerged as the preferred way to shop online, so eCommerce stores should optimize for all platforms to meet the shifting demands of the market.
Market projections for the holiday shopping season expect $123.39 billion in revenue through the end of the year. If you need help preparing, let Springbot maximize your holiday marketing strategy with campaign services that will help you reach consumers wherever they are on their purchase journey. Schedule a demo today to take your eCommerce business to the next level!