IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark reports nearly a 20% increase in online Thanksgiving sales and an 18.9% growth in online sales for Black Friday, setting a new online sales record. Considering the increase in ecommerce spending prior to the start of the holiday shopping season for retailers, it’s no surprise that online retailers experienced tremendous success this past Black Friday. IBM also reports a large increase in mobile shopping this year. Mobile traffic grew to nearly 40% of all online traffic, increasing by 34% over last year’s Black Friday – a sign of good things to come for those in the ecommerce industry.
Analysts discovered more information regarding mobile consumers’ shopping habits based on IBM’s data. Smartphones, for example drove 24.9% of all online traffic on Black Friday; tablets made up 14.2%. Although tablets aren’t the preferred devices for browsing and researching, IBM data shows that tablets accounted for twice as many online sales than smartphones. In addition, consumers who made purchases with a tablet averaged 15% more per order than those who shopped via smartphones.
A Mobile Era
With more and more consumers retiring their shopping sneakers for the convenience of shopping at home, retailers could greatly benefit from implementing a more ecommerce-focused marketing strategy, especially through mobile channels.
Optimizing for Smartphones
TechCrunch recently published an article discussing the impact of smartphone-optimized sites. Data from Branding Brand suggests that having a smartphone-optimized site can greatly increase traffic. In fact, smartphone-optimized sites saw nearly 76% more visits compared to last year’s Black Friday. Optimizing your site not just for all mobile devices, but specifically for smartphones can greatly increase the chances for conversions. With consumers turning to smartphones primarily for browsing and product research, it would be extremely beneficial for brands to capitalize on this ever growing opportunity.
IBM reports that retailers sent 37% more push notifications compared to the daily average over the past 2 months. If utilizing mobile apps are a part of your marketing strategy, sending users push notifications (alert messages from apps installed on your mobile device) to notify them of any promotions or sales will keep you on their radar. Though consumers may not directly convert from a push notification, properly attributing actions across channels and devices will not only give credit where it’s due, but also give insight on how to effectively engage with your target audience.
Decreasing your site’s load time, for example can also make a big difference in the mobile shopper’s browsing experience; don’t bog down your mobile site with flashy images and content that may be irrelevant to the mobile shopper. Display only the menus and information most mobile shoppers look for. Hot Topic for example, removes product thumbnails and logos of the brands they carry from their mobile site, but keeps them on the desktop site.
Focusing on Tablets
A recent Canalys report revealed tablets will account for half of all PCs that will be shipped next year. With 285 million tablets forecasted to be shipped next year, advertisers may want to consider a few things to accommodate an increase in tablet users.
With more consumers turning to multiple devices to shop or get information online, advertisers must continue finding ways to implement a strategy that allows them to track cross-channel and cross-device activity effectively. IBM’s numbers for mobile activity from Black Friday are a prime example of how important it is for brands to track cross-device activities. Being able to track which channels and devices incite more engagement and more clicks will help advertisers gain valuable insights on how to best optimize their mobile strategies.
With tablet and smartphone ownership steadily increasing over the past few years, there’s no reason advertisers should shy away from focusing more marketing dollars toward optimizing mobile campaigns. With an improved strategy, advertisers can hit the ground running and start the New Year strong.