Black Friday, Thanksgiving online retail traffic skews toward mobile

2017 could go down as the year that e-commerce decidedly went to the small screen. Conversion rates are still much higher on desktop, according to Adobe data. Salesforce found personalization mattered.

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Mobile shopping is representing the majority of e-commerce orders on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to Adobe.

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Adobe's Experience Cloud, which tracks 80 percent of the online transactions at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers, said mobile was representing 61.1 percent of the visits for Black Friday. On Thanksgiving, mobile represented 55.7 percent of visits to retail sites.

Among the key figures:

  • $640 million has been spent online as of 10 a.m. on Black Friday, up 18.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Mobile has represented 61.1 percent of visits to shopping sites.
  • Of that sum, smartphones accounted for 50/9 percent of visits with tablets at 10.2 percent.
  • Mobile accounted for 46.2 percent of online retail revenue.
  • Thanksgiving generated $2.87 billion on online retail spending.
  • TVs and electronics were seeing the most discounting along with computers.

Update: As of 8 p.m. EST on Black Friday, shoppers spent $3.54 billion online, up 15.6 percent from a year ago. Adobe affirmed a forecast calling for $5 billion of online sales for Black Friday.

Mobile drove $1.4 billion in revenue, or 55.7 percent of visits.

Other key points from Black Friday:

  • iOS users had an average order value of $127 compared to Android's $112.
  • Amazon's Echo and Fire tablets were best sellers.

Retailers drove most of their sales through search. Indeed, 22.3 percent of sales through Thanksgiving came via paid search with 22.1 percent organic. Direct traffic was 27.1 percent with email at 19.2 percent. Shopping helper sites were 6.2 percent. Display was 1.9 percent and social media 1.2 percent.

Conversions rates have improved across desktop and mobile experiences. Desktop conversion rates for desktops were 4.1 percent, up 11.4 percent from a year ago. Smartphone conversion rates were 1.8 percent, up 10.4 percent from a year ago. Tablet conversion rates were 4 percent, up 8.8 percent from a year ago.

Adobe surmised that the conversion rate improvements were due to better cross device user experiences.

Salesforce's Commerce Cloud unit also highlighted the move to mobile and better conversion rates. Salesforce found that shoppers placed 48 percent more orders on phones this year. Salesforce also said mobile accounted for 61 percent of all traffic on Thanksgiving.

Personalization also gave digital commerce a boost on Thanksgiving and Black Friday a boost. Salesforce found that 5 percent of shoppers clicked on a personalized product recommendation and accounted for 28 percent of revenue.


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