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Viva la Revolucion! The Mobile Revolucion…

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What a weekend: Fidel Castro dead. And on Black Friday too. The irony that one of the few world leaders that actively stood against capitalism should slip away on the day when most of the running dogs of the debauched west were flocking to the high altar of Mammon wasn’t lost on me. Nor was that fact that Castro once said that he “wouldn’t die until America was defeated” – Trump won the election, Castro dies: go figure.

But I digress. The Cyber weekend – or Black-35-day as one wag named it, since it starts on 11 November and continues possibly forever – has been a rip-roaring success for mobile this year. Despite predictions that everyone had lost interest in Black Friday and that the High Street was going to be silent but for the rustle of tumbleweed, it seems that the UK went shopping mad over the weekend – and that mobile was the first port of call for much of that excess.

According to data from ChannelAdvisor, between Thanksgiving and Cyber Sunday in the UK, 73% of shopping searches took place on mobile devices (22% on tablets; 51% on mobile) –an increase of 15% from 2015 – with 64% of purchases then taking place on mobile devices (22.7% on tablets, 41.7% on mobile). This compares to 48% in 2015.

And our friends at Poq inform us that much of this 64% of purchasing was done via apps, with downloads of retail apps over the period increasing by more than 350% on last year.

NN4M found that many retailers were also using their apps to stagger discounts across a whole week, starting way before Black Friday and that this has proved hugely beneficial, driving sales through apps up for some retailers by 470% over last year.

Much of this was driven by a much more concerted and coherent push to use apps to message consumers in the run up to the big weekend, according to Urban Airship, which found that Retailers sent 56% more holiday notifications in 2016 than 2015, and 2015 was a 63% increase over 2014 volumes.

The big difference this year: retailers embraced targeting. Preliminary Android analysis found 88% of notifications were highly targeted to shoppers’ location, preferences and behaviours and only 12% of messages were broadcast to everyone. These highly targeted notifications saw engagement rates that were more than three times higher than broadcast messages.

All great news for us champions of mobile –it is where people want to shop – but it also proves that many of the things that I have waxed lyrical about all year do actually work!

Targetted app push marketing? Check. Driving people to apps to increase average order value? Check. Letting them start on mobile and move seamlessly to PC or even the store? Check.

Across the board mobile has delivered for retailers this Christmas and will continue to do so. Smartphone offers get a huge response rate according to a survey by Vista Retail Support – and we are only just at the start of December. This is going to be a hugely mobile Christmas I predict. And I am glad that Fidel isn’t alive to see it: it’d break his idealistic communist heart in two. Viva la revolucion!

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