Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year with most major stores now open on Thanksgiving Day in order to let the truly early birds get all the worms. But, in an age where mobile is major, are people more apt to physically go to the store or to shop online at their own pace? Earlier in November, IBM released their early predictions for how the 2014 shopping season would look, and to no surprise mobile is a key player in the shopping arena.
IBM predicts that online sales will be up 15% in the time between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday this year as compared to 2013. The most substantial increase in online sales will be on Cyber Monday with a growth of 15.8%, followed immediately by Thanksgiving with a growth of 15.6%. Even though Black Friday is considered to be the busiest shopping in-store day of the year, online sales for this day are expected to increase by 13% as well.
The driving force behind most of these online sales is in fact mobile. Mobile browsing is expected to account for nearly half of all online sales, which is a 23% increase from last year. IBM Smarter Commerce Director Jay Henderson says mobile shopping will really come into its own on Thanksgiving:
Mobile shopping really came of age last year as consumers became a lot more comfortable using their smartphones and tablets to lock in the best deals. But this is the first time we expect to observe more than half of all online traffic coming from a mobile device on Thanksgiving.”
On top of mobile browsing increasing, mobile sales themselves are expected to grow by 9.5% which will in turn account for 24.4% of all sales online. It is interesting to note that Apple will dominate the mobile shopping experience with device traffic doubling that of Android.
Over the next few days, IBM expects to see the following trends continue to be prominent:
1. Smartphones browse, while tablets buy: While smartphone users account for the majority of mobile browsing, tablets seem to be the mobile device of choice when it comes to actually purchasing items. IBM predicts that tablets accounts for nearly double the amount of mobile purchases when compared to smartphones.
2. Retailers are thanking their customers by giving them less unwanted spam: According to IBM,
Click-through rates for emails sent during the five-day shopping period will be 10% higher than the same period last year, thanks to data-driven insight which allows marketers to reduce the amount of unwanted email and instead, deliver personalized and relevant promotions.”
Adding upon that, 35% of all click-throughs will happen on a mobile device.
3. More digital coupons mean even greater savings for consumers: Customers are becoming more and more comfortable with cashing in on online deals, and this year IBM predicts that consumers will spend an average of only $123.28 in online orders during the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. This is a decrease of 2.9% from last year.
As a marketer it is important to know what trends your customers are following, especially in the new and ever-changing world of mobile marketing. Henderson goes on to say:
Without question, this will be a strong holiday shopping season, supported by the power of Big Data and analytics, which are helping brands better understand their consumers and make crucial decisions in real-time.”