Initial retail reports revealed a spike in mobile and online commerce in the first two weeks of the 2016 holiday shopping season. Adobe Digital Insights, a subsidiary of Adobe Systems Inc., disclosed Nov. 28, 2016, that consumers spent $3.39 billion online on Cyber Monday, $50 million more than Black Friday's overall sales and 10 percent more than the same period in the previous year.
Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst at ADI, stated Cyber Monday sales surpassed all previous records, making it the biggest online shopping day in history. "This indicates that consumers still had more appetite for online shopping despite the incredible volume of online sales on Black Friday," she said. "Prices are expected to start climbing after today as retailers shift attention to extend the season late into December with quick shipping deals and the option to click and collect in store."
Mobile commerce sales also reached a historic milestone on Black Friday and Cyber Monday by exceeding $1 billion on both shopping days. Total ecommerce spend reached $9.4 billion over the weekend, 16 percent more than the same weekend of the previous year. The average ticket price of iOS smartphones ($139) was slightly higher than Android smartphones ($124), ADI analysts stated. These findings were consistent with those of other service providers.
Kibo Software Inc., a cloud-based omnichannel service provider, noted 42 percent of the company's clients shopped on mobile devices on Cyber Monday, slightly higher than the retail industry's average of 35 percent. Kibo Chief Marketing Officer Tushar Patel expects the distinction between online and in-store shopping to continue to blur, as consumers increasingly use mobile for research at home and online.
"Consumers using mobile for research, both at home and in store, will rise, and as retailers continue to improve their marketing and ecommerce engagement on mobile, the number of consumers completing their transactions over mobile will increase," he said. "Retailers that focus on creating a seamless, relevant experience at all touch points during a consumer's buying journey are the ones that will rise as omnichannel champions in 2017."
Global marketing firm Criteo analyzed data from 350 retailers and 29.9 million online transactions over three major shopping days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the next day, which some have dubbed Bounceback Tuesday. The company found a spike in digital sales, especially at times when traditional retailers were closed and shoppers used connected devices for comparative research and ecommerce.
Smartphone usage increased by 50 percent compared with the previous year. Desktop computer use for shopping increased by 11 percent, accounting for 62 percent of all ecommerce traffic. Tablet usage was down by 11 percent. Additionally, 53 percent of Black Friday shoppers used mobile devices to research and compare products. The company also expected strong spending to continue throughout December.
"While deal-seekers made the most of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Bounceback Tuesday, our data projects a second spike of unique visitors from December 5 through December 15," Criteo representatives stated. "We also expect these shoppers to visit fewer competitor sites than over the busy weekend, as their search for gifts narrows."
Heather Petersen, Chief Executive Officer of National Merchants Association, said many m-commerce and ecommerce solutions offer advanced security that can help mitigate fraud, and their benefits outweigh any negatives. Merchant level salespeople (MLSs) can play a critical role in driving mobile wallet adoption by educating merchants about emerging mobile and ecommerce technologies, she stated.
"Any good agent will use knowledge and education to settle any fears or confusion with a merchant," she added. "There are more than 80 million millennials out there; 80 percent of them own smart phones, and almost half have already used mobile payments."
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