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EDITORIAL Peak weekend cements mobile’s position in ecommerce

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As the dust settles on Peak Weekend 2018, it appears that one of the big winners has been mobile. Stats abound as to how increasing numbers of shoppers have turned to their devices to bag those bargains, often at the expense of the High Street.

To recap on some of the hottest mobile numbers from this weekend, Adobe Analytics says that mobile transactions soared with $2.2 billion of Cyber Monday sales coming from smartphones alone, representing the highest ever YOY growth of 55.6 %, and the first time ever that over half of visits (54.3%) came from mobile devices.

Meanwhile, traffic analysis from Nostro suggests that, globally, mobile accounted for 71% of traffic and 56% of sales revenue – up from 64% of traffic and 50% of sales revenue in 2017 on the two holiday shopping days. Conversion rates are also up on mobile phones from 1.98% last year to 2.28% in 2018

And Poq found that shoppers spent the equivalent of 21 years and 7 months spent within apps on their platform on Black Friday alone, a 40% increase from 2017.

Other figures just in from Wowcher suggest that 80% of its sales were made on mobile and just 20% were on desktop, which chimes with Salmon’s analysis at 9am on Black Friday that 85% of traffic was coming from mobile.

All in all, shoppers have turned to mobile to make those peak purchases. And the logic as to why is clear: convenience. What better way to be ready to snap up those rare bargains than by sitting, phone in hand, in the comfort of your own home waiting for the deals to drop?

This appears to have been largely what shoppers have done, turning Black Friday – at least in the UK, where it is a standard work day, rather than a public holiday as it is in the US – into an online event.

However, it is more complex than that. People did head to high street – me included, as you shall see – and they did buy. The problem is, that many, like me, were ‘ghost shoppers’, who were in stores looking for bargains then buying them on mobile while in the store, often from someone else.

Perhaps I am typical of what was going on. My self and Daisy bought one of our daughters a new iPad for Christmas, online, late at night on Thursday and got a Black Friday deal. The only catch was that it had to be collected from store the following day. Being the chief breadwinner in the house, naturally I had to take time out to go get.

So, much against all I pontificate about, I found myself in a well-known white goods stores, on Black Friday, albeit to collect something. While I was waiting, I nosed around the Fitbits, as, Daisy, my other half wants one. They too were on sale. However, with no shop assistant in sight to help – my iPad was brought to be my the ‘Apple Guy’ who it seems will crumble to dust if he has to touch a non-Apple smartwatch – I decided to look on line.

And, lo, I found it even cheaper on Amazon – so I bought it.

So, from my point of view, I used online, mobile and the High Street this Black Friday (doing my bit for retail!), but I suspect I was typical of any home worker who could get to a store. For everyone else, Black Friday is an online – or rather a mobile – event as they want the bargains, but also are at work. Or in bed. Or on the train.

This is perhaps why, for the UK, Black Friday, while a booming sales opportunity, is more of an online event stretching across the weekend. In fact, with many online sales starting at least a week before, it is becoming a week-long, late November online sales festival.

Which might explain why, a survey by PushOn found that of 500 retail decision makers from across the UK, 78% claim to be more inclined to buy online than in stores. That says it all really.

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