Embracing Mobile Commerce on Black Friday
Today is the day that the Christmas shopping season begins for a large majority of people, as consumers take advantage of online and mobile commerce on Black Friday.
Over the weekend following Thanksgiving, consumers will finally act on the mass of emails and advertising material they will have received urging them to take advantage of the countless offers for discounted electronic goods, clothes and other products.
Clearly, this is a formula that works, as $1.964 billion was the total of overall online sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday last year, a number which has grown consistently year on year, and is likely to continue to do so.
140 million consumers in the US alone plan to shop over the weekend of Black Friday to Cyber Monday, due to around 50% of retailers offering special online deals and promotions for the occasion, including around 20% providing free delivery on Black Friday purchases.
The estimated annual spend per person on holiday shopping in 2014 is $800 and mobile transactions reportedly now account for over 20% of all online sales.
The UK is also getting in on the action, which is unsurprising when the promotional offers will save consumers more than £200 million over the course of the weekend. This includes savings of almost £100 million on Cyber Monday alone. However, that will still involve a total spend of approximately £1.32 billion, an increase of 9% from 2013.
This mentality from shoppers presents retailers with an opportunity to leverage mobile channels to take the transaction away from the traditional cash register and add additional transaction points for their products, accelerating their sales.
Mobile devices extend the point of sale for retailers, allowing them to offer their services to customers irrespective of location or the time of day. With mobile commerce, this means shorter queues in stores, additional transactions and higher levels of customer satisfaction on the busiest shopping day of the year.
With the analytics and insight into customers' behavior and preferences that mobility gives retailers, they are able to achieve highly targeted, personalised and intuitive customer engagement, presenting consumers with what they want before they even realise they want it.
Brands will also encourage their mobile customers with reward systems and special offers for loyalty and recurring business, as well as promotional codes to optimise marketing efforts and increase conversions. Retailers with well-designed strategies will undoubtedly reap the benefits, taking into account that last year, 39.7% of all online traffic on Black Friday was attributed to smartphones and tablets.
As more record-breaking statistics surge in over the next few days, the significant role of mobile commerce on Black Friday will continue to grow, and will hugely impact sales to kick off the holiday season.