After a nice dinner with family and friends this past Thanksgiving, Americans jumped online and broke records shopping for Black Friday deals. Spending $1.042 billion online, November 23 experienced the biggest online spending to date this year, a 26% increase over 2011’s Black Friday. As impressive as this increase in spending is, perhaps more notable is the use of smartphones and tablets to inform and complete purchases. According to a report from IBM, 16% of sales were from mobile devices (compared to 9.8% in 2011) and the iPad accounted for 10% of online shopping. Consumers were also using these devices to assist their shopping experiences, with 58% using smartphones and 41% using tablets to search for bargains.
Even with Black Friday having such high levels of online spending, many are expecting Cyber Monday to have even stronger online sales. Coined by Shop.org in 2005, the term refers to the Monday after Black Friday during which online retailers offer great savings comparable to those of in-store Black Friday deals. Though most retailers have incorporated e-commerce into their Black Friday strategies (as evidenced above), it is expected that consumers will spend even more online during Cyber Monday. In fact, ComScore is forecasting that sales will exceed $1.5 billion, nearly a 50% increase over Friday’s record breaking number (and up 20% from Cyber Monday 2011).
So far, the results have been even higher than what ComScore predicted. According to IBM, sales are up 26% from 2011 as of 3:00 p.m. EST. They are also reporting that 21% of consumers are using a mobile device to reach retailers’ websites, and 11% are using these devices to actually make purchases.
UPDATE (27/11/2012): IBM is reporting that sales for this year’s Cyber Monday increased 30.3% from 2011. 13% of purchases were made from mobile devices, a 96% increase over 2011.
With consumers using smartphones and tablets to browse details and make purchases, it is essential for retailers to provide experiences that effectively utilize these devices – a troublesome mobile experience could mean the loss of a sale for a store.