The 2014 Thanksgiving Mobile Commerce Roundup

Prior to Thanksgiving 2014, estimates suggested that mobile commerce would make up a significant percentage of online sales this Holiday season.

Those estimates were right on point.

This year, mobile commerce made up a crushing 32.3% of U.S. online sales. In addition, mobile devices accounted for 52.1% of online shopping traffic, suggesting that mobile devices were a component of numerous sales even if they were not ultimately made on that device.

To break it down even further: smartphones made up 36.4% of mobile traffic, where tablets made up 15.4%. That said, tablets actually accounted for 17.9% of online sales, where smartphones accounted for 14.4%.

We are also able to gain a bit of insight into user behavior on the path-to-purchase. Many used mobile devices to search for gifts and other holiday purchases. Of those searches, a full half resulted in a purchase.

Mobile apps in particular are gaining in popularity. Forbes recently noted that online retailers prefer mobile apps because they cut through the clutter of email and social channels, allowing merchants to reach customers directly. They also allow merchants to reach all of their audience at once, an increasingly large benefit as Facebook continues to tweak its algorithm to limit non-paid content brands can use to reach their fans.

It is obvious that businesses are taking notice of mobile app functionality in droves. A recent IBM study indicates that 94% of CMOs plan to incorporate native apps into their mobile marketing strategy within the next 3-5 years.

The mobile trends continued over the busy post-Thanksgiving weekend sales days. Despite an overall lackluster Black Friday, online sales continued to grow. Overall, mobile devices were used in nearly 30% of all online sales.

Mobile also demonstrated a strong presence during Cyber Monday, where it accounted for almost 40% of all online traffic, and 23% of online sales. Again, tablets edged out smartphones for volume of purchases, accounting for 12.5% of sales compared to smartphones 10.5%.

All of this data points to one thing: mobile commerce is very quickly becoming the dominant force in ecommerce. Merchants should ensure that they have a strong mobile presence this Holiday season and beyond!

Black Friday Mobile Apps

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Black Friday is crazy. We all know this. The good news is that customers are turning to mobile shopping more than ever this Holiday season, meaning you can use a mobile app to alleviate some of their stress and net a healthy profit for your online store to boot. Here’s how to create an awesome mobile experience for your customers this year!

1. Catch the showroomers

One of the greatest annoyances of modern brick and mortar stores is the advent of “showrooming”, or having customers check out products in store then actually order them from a mobile device. If you are ¬†purveyor of the types of items that customers would routinely want to see in person first, consider discounting them and sending a push notification so customers know that even if they visit a store in person the best way to buy the product is through your app!

2. Create follow-up experience

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but the momentum continues for the rest of the Holidays. Promote your app on your website or store while the crowds reach a fever pitch on Black Friday so you can continue sending them deals and product updates. Having a massive user base will increase the value of your app dramatically, and will make it easy for customers to buy last-minute gifts to boot!

3. Offer mobile-exclusive promotions

Once you’ve encouraged customers to download your app, reward them by offering great deals through your app that they can’t find anywhere else. In general, its a good idea to avoid over-saturating customers with deals and specials. On Black Friday, anything goes! Send out hourly deals and great specials and your customers will love you for it amidst the frenzy of the day.

These general suggestions will get you on the way to creating an awesome experience over the Holidays. What are your plans for mobile sales this year?