Shoppers chose mobile devices for Black Friday shopping

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Shoppers chose mobile devices for Black Friday shopping

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 11/29/2018
More consumers kicked off their holiday shopping through mobile devices and social media.

This was according to “Shopper-First Retailing,” a study from Salesforce that reported more shoppers than ever started their holiday shopping on a phone during the Black Friday weekend. In fact, mobile traffic hovered around 70% for the majority of the week.

More shoppers also made purchases on their phones this year than any other device. Mobile order share was the highest on Thanksgiving Day at 54% compared to 49% on Black Friday, and 45% on Cyber Monday.

Social media was once again a critical component that helped drive traffic to retail sites. Facebook and Instagram alone drove 94% of all social traffic to retail sites, up slightly from 92% in 2017. As Cyber Week deals wound down, shoppers talked about gadgets, big retailers and – in a crafty surprise – Etsy, the online artisan marketplace.

The five most-talked-about retailers on social media during Cyber Week were Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, eBay and Best Buy. The five most-talked-about products during the same time-frame were Sony PlayStation, Apple iPhone, Amazon Echo, Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle.

Shoppers also stepped up their digital usage for customer service. While customer service agents viewed 10% more service cases this Cyber Monday compared to last, shoppers weren’t just picking up the phone. Calls to customer service centers saw a slight year-over-year decline, as consumers shift the way they engage with customer service by turning to digital channels like social, messaging and chat.

Preparing for this shift toward more digital shoppers, retailers also quickly ramped up discount rates on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. They stayed elevated throughout the weekend and ended with a bang on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday saw a record 31% average discount rate.

Marketers enticed shoppers with SMS and email notifications early in the week, up 159% and 26% year-over-year respectively, on Thanksgiving Day, compared to a 69% increase in SMS notifications and 23% increase in email sends on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday saw 84% of orders ship for free, impacting average order value (AOV), as shoppers did not have to to add additional items to their carts to avoid shipping costs.

“Consumers went online early, went mobile and went social this Cyber Week, driving healthy digital growth for retailers,” said Rob Garf, VP, industry strategy for retail, Salesforce. “This holiday season, shoppers responded to retailer innovation in mobile, payments and social that are enabling seamless and personalized consumer experiences — from product discovery to purchase.”

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