Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday E-Commerce Results

MC-Thanksgiving-Black-Friday-E-Commerce-Dec2014With Black Friday in the books and Cyber Monday now in full swing, various sources are releasing reports on how the past weekend fared. The consensus appears to be that online – in particular mobile – sales grew from last year, but brick-and-mortar activity was down, with the NRF projecting an overall decrease in spending. The following article highlights some of the key data points from a variety of research.

Spending Tallies

  • 55.1% of holiday shoppers were reportedly shopping in-stores and online over Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday through Sunday), per the NRF’s tally, a decrease from 58.7% last year. The average person who shopped or was planning to shop over the weekend spent $380.95, down 67.4% from last year. Overall, the NRF expects that Thanksgiving weekend spending would reach $50.9 billion, down from last year’s estimated $57.4 million.
  • Desktop e-commerce spending grew by 32% year-over-year on Thanksgiving Day to reach $1.01 billion, the first time it has broken the billion-dollar threshold, according to comScore figures. Black Friday spending hit $1.51 billion, representing a 26% increase from Black Friday 2013.
  • Custora’s tally puts Black Friday e-commerce revenues (mobile and desktop combined) up by 20.6% over last year, with Custora proclaiming it the biggest US online shopping day ever – though very likely to be eclipsed today. Meanwhile, Custora’s analysis of more than 100 US online retailers and 100 million online shoppers found that Thanksgiving Day e-commerce orders grew by 19.8% year-over-year, with revenues up 17.7%.
  • IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark notes that online sales on Thanksgiving Day grew by 14.3% year-over-year, while Black Friday online sales were up by 9.5%.
  • According to data from Adobe Digital Index, Thanksgiving Day online sales grew by 25% year-over-year, with Black Friday online sales up by 24%.

Mobile Commerce

  • Mobile comprised 34.3% of e-commerce orders on Thanksgiving Day, per Custora’s data, up from 20% last year. Apple devices represented 78.2% of mobile shopping. On Black Friday, mobile shopping accounted for 30.3% of online sales, up from 22.5% last year. Apple devices again dominated to the tune of 76.8% of mobile shopping, although that was down fro 83.4% last year.
  • A watershed moment on Thanksgiving Day, according to IBM, which says that browsing on smartphones and tablets accounted for 52.1% of all online traffic, the first time mobile browsing outpaced PCs. That was almost the case on Black Friday, too, with mobiles comprising 49.6% of all online traffic, a 25% year-over-year increase.
  • IBM also notes that while smartphones drove more than twice as much traffic as tablets on Black Friday (34.7% vs. 14.6%), tablets outpaced smartphones in online sales share (16% vs. 11.8%) and in average order value ($126.50 vs. $107.55). More evidence that smartphones are for research, tablets for buying. As with Custora, IBM finds Apple users to be the stronger shoppers, with 24.3% higher average order values than Android users, more than twice the online traffic share, and almost quadruple the online sales share. PC shoppers, however, had higher average order values ($135.33) than mobile shoppers ($116.02).
  • The Adobe data indicates that 29% of online sales on Thanksgiving Day came from mobile devices, up from 21% last year. Mobile devices similarly drove 27% of online sales on Black Friday, though that represented a smaller 3% increase from last year. According to Adobe, iOS users accounted for 79% of mobile sales revenues, compared with 21% for Android users.
  • Monetate’s tally shows that mobile accounted for 44% of all online traffic (up 19.2% year-over-year) and 28.1% of all online sales (up 16.6%) on Thanksgiving Day. On Black Friday, mobile devices comprised 42.5% of online traffic (up 20.8%) and 26.7% of sales (up 13%).

Miscellaneous

  • Facebook-referred traffic spent an average of $109.94 per order on Black Friday, almost 10% more than traffic referred by Pinterest ($100.24), per IBM’s figures. Facebook referrals also sported conversion rates almost double those of Pinterest referrals.
  • Adobe also finds Facebook-driven traffic to be sporting a higher average order value than Pinterest-driven traffic ($114.45 vs. $93.20), with Twitter ($90.74) lagging both.
  • Email marketing was the channel driving the largest share of online sales on both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to Custora’s tracking data.
  • Online purchases were below-average on Thanksgiving Day in the morning hours, but then picked up steam significantly beginning at 6PM ET, per Sailthru. On Black Friday, however, online shopping was above-average in the morning hours, but then fell below average between 1 and 5PM. Separately, Sailthru also notes that repeat buyers accounted for 59% of revenue for mid-market e-commerce brands, versus 41% for first-time buyers.
  • Store visits on Thanksgiving Day grew by 27.3% year-over-year, but this in turn impacted Black Friday store visits, which decreased by about 5.6%, according to ShopperTrak. As a result, combined sales for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday were projected to total $12.29 billion, a marginal 0.5% decrease from last year.