After observing how Black Friday has been the last few years, I’ve noticed a change in the general trend of the annual holiday shopping at these brick and mortar stores. As I have been a part of the chaos of Black Friday myself, I remember how many people tried doing all of their major Christmas shopping on that day. But now, it seems that Black Friday isn’t quite the same as it used to be.
Now, it seems more retailers, who are doing what they can to get the competitive advantage, make Black Friday deals available before Thanksgiving even starts. And now, with the advent of mobile, more and more people are buying online instead of going to the physical store to get their items.
ShopperTrak, an in-store analytics provider, says that brick and mortar retail sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year netted about $12.1 billion, which is actually lower than last year. This year’s Black Friday brought in $10.4 billion where as 2014 brought in $11.6 billion. Adobe estimated that both Thanksgiving and Black Friday brought in about $4.45 billion online.
It seems that the ones who benefited the most from the growth in online sales were traditional retail brand. Channel Adviser said that Amazon and eBay did well, as well as so-called omnichannel retailers. After seeing that sales activities of Thanksging, the company had this to say:
When we dig into the “other 3PM” data, what stands out is the Omnichannel players with stores and online marketplaces (Best Buy, Sears, etc.) did extremely well. This indicates that these “Brick and Clicks” retailers were really able to tie their store and online promotions together with great success.
Some say that the slower in-store sales are due to “Black Friday fatigue,” as well as the expansion of retailer discounting and promotions ahead of Black Friday.
According to Greg Sterling, he had received a large number of emails from a number of different vendors who reported metrics and estimates about sales and traffic sources. Across all the emails he had gotten, there seemed to be some constant themes. These are the theme that Greg seemed to see:
- Mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic: Adobe reported mobile visits were 57 percent of total traffic on Thanksgiving; ChannelAdvisor said that mobile (smartphones + tablets) averaged more than 60 percent of retail site traffic over the course of the weekend.
- Mobile conversions grew but did not correspond to their dominant share of visits: Adobe said mobile commerce was 37 percent of digital sales; ChannelAdvisor said mobile orders were just over 40 percent of online sales. Custora reported that mobile drove 36.1 percent of e-commerce on Black Friday.
- Apple dominated mobile commerce: According to Custora, “77.6 percent of all orders made on mobile devices happened on Apple devices.”
With the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and now, Cyber Monday days here, both consumers and retailers have conspired to break out of the tired “in stores on Friday, online on Monday” shopping patterns. Now, people seem to be going between shopping in-store, on computers, as well as their smartphones.