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Mobile Dominates Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Now that the dust has settled from the official kick-off of the North American holiday shopping season, it’s clear there’s a shift underway in how consumers spend during the make-or-break weekend for retailers. More and more, they’re opting not to line up at the midnight hour and brave the cold weather and/or unruly crowds. Instead, they’ve got their feet up and are crossing items off their gift lists from the comfort of their home — thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices.

Black Friday sales topped $6.2 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics, which reports on sales for 80 of the top 100 American internet retailers. That figure represents a 23.6% increase over last year’s numbers. A telling number also emerged from their report: Black Friday was the first day ever to see more than $2 billion in sales transacted through consumers’ smartphones. A full third of the day’s ecommerce sales came from mobile devices.

That number was surpassed a mere three days later, when $2.2 billion in Cyber Monday sales were transacted from mobile devices, also the first time mobile sales represented more than half of all online sales. Mobile users represented 54% of site visits on Cyber Monday, a 19% increase from 2017. Ecommerce powerhouse Amazon saw a similar boost, reporting its biggest day in the company’s history, citing toys and clothing as big sellers.

While visions of chaotic Black Friday events may have put off some potential shoppers, the rise in smartphone use is also attributable to merchants’ improved mobile shopping experiences. Adobe reported a 10% bump in mobile browsing turning into mobile purchases, while other consumers are opting to hit the stores only after ordering their purchase online, as “click-and-collect” orders saw a 73% increase from Thursday to Friday.

As the future of online retail shifts toward mobile, merchants will need to step up their mobile experiences to capture their fair share of that expanding market. An essential part of the mobile shopping experience is strong customer support. Just as consumers opt to make their transactions through their devices, so do they want to resolve their support issues the same way. We’re a mobile-oriented society, and this is reflected in the way each step of the purchase process takes place on our phones. From the initial product research to comparison shopping to purchase, all the way through to support resolution and the posting of that all-important customer review, it all takes place on mobile. If you’re not prepared to offer 24/7/365 omnichannel support, you run the risk of being left in the cyber dust. If there’s any lesson to be learned from this holiday season, it’s that merchants hold their futures in the palms of their hands.

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