Black Friday Online Sales Up 9.5 Percent; How People Shop

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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

  • Black Friday Online Sales Up 9.5 Percent, Mobile Sales Up 28.2 percent

A record online and mobile shopping during Black Friday was reported based on consumer transaction data analyzed in real-time by the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. The data-driven insight gives retailers and marketers more than 370 performance indicators to benchmark themselves against industry peers to drive more targeted customer engagements.

For the first time, online traffic from mobile devices outpaced traditional PCs on Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.  The mobile momentum carried into Black Friday, which saw a surge in both online and mobile shopping as consumers brought their devices into the store to make price comparisons.

Overall Black Friday online sales were up 9.5 percent year-over-year with mobile devices accounting for one-in-four of all online purchases. (Read more: Black Friday Spending Jumps 26% to $1.5 Billion in 2014)

The company released the following trends earlier this morning, at the official close of the two-day shopping period:

Historic Mobile Milestone Spurs Online Shopping: Black Friday mobile traffic reached 49.6 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 25 percent over last year. Black Friday mobile sales accounted for 27.9 percent of total online sales, up 28.2 percent over 2013.

Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: As the new digital shopping companion for many consumers, smartphones drove 34.7 percent of all Black Friday online traffic, more than double that of tablets, which accounted for 14.6 percent of all traffic. Yet, when it comes to mobile sales, tablets continue to win the shopping war – driving 16 percent of online sales compared to 11.8 percent for smartphones, a difference of 35.5 percent. Tablet users also averaged $126.50 per order compared to $107.55 for smartphone users, a difference of 17.6 percent.

Thanksgiving Eats Into Black Friday Sales: Thanksgiving Day online sales increased 14.3 percent over 2013, with Black Friday up 9.5 percent year-over-year. Average order value on Thanksgiving was $125.25, down 1.8 percent over 2013; Black Friday was $129.37, down 4.4 percent. This trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains. Black Friday online sales were 63.5 percent higher than Thanksgiving Day. This is a decrease from 2013, however, when it was 70 percent higher as Thanksgiving online sales continue to eat into Black Friday shopping.

Apple iOS vs. Android: iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics on Black Friday:

Average Order Value: iOS users averaged $121.86 per order compared to $98.07 for Android users, a difference 24.3 percent.

Online Traffic: iOS traffic accounted for 34.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 15 percent of all online traffic.

Online Sales: iOS sales accounted for 21.9 percent of total online sales, nearly quadruple that of Android, which drove 5.8 percent of all online sales.

The Desktop is Not Dead: When consumers did choose to use their PC or desktop, they spent more with an average order value of $135.33 compared to $116.02 for mobile shoppers, a difference of 16.6 percent.

Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest: As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites on Black Friday – Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $109.94 per order compared to $100.24 for Pinterest, a difference of nearly 10 percent. Facebook referrals converted online sales at more than twice the rate of Pinterest.

Less Frequent, More Targeted Email Promos*: Retailers sent an average of 5.3 emails on Black Friday 2014, decreasing more than 11 percent over the same period in 2013, as retail marketers continue to send more targeted — and less frequent — messages to shoppers. Open and click-through rates – when someone opens an email and clicks at least one link – were 12.9 percent and 2.4 percent, on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day, compared to 15.4 percent and 2.8 percent respectively, last year.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four of the hottest retail categories this holiday season:

Department Stores: Black Friday online sales grew by 22.9 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25.7 percent. Average order value was $143.16, a decrease of 2.5 percent year-over-year.

Health and Beauty: Black Friday online sales grew by 56.9 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 31.8 percent. Average order value was $72.78, an increase of 9.8 percent year-over-year.

Home Goods: Black Friday online sales grew by 43.2 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 3.8 percent. Average order value was $238.46, an increase of 6.8 percent year-over-year.

Apparel: Black Friday online sales grew by 22.6 percent over 2013, with mobile percentage of sales increasing by 25.2 percent. Average order value was $114.96, a decrease of 6.8 percent year-over-year.

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