Shopping goes smart (phone)

Black Friday sales results are in – and the biggest takeaway from the year’s biggest shopping event is the increasing importance of mobile.

Now, proviso alert: we’re not here to spruik Black Friday. An annual four day buying frenzy is not exactly in the best interests of our planet, which is already struggling under the weight of decades of mass consumption. Retailers like Patagonia have shown that counter approaches to the event can be great ways to raise both environmental awareness and brand awareness. But Black Friday does provide a handy snapshot of buying behaviour worldwide.

So what did this year’s snapshot show us?

Well, the headline stats aren’t shockers. With the pandemic keeping U.S. shoppers away from physical stores, the doorbusters were busted. Foot traffic dropped 48 – 52%, dragging total sales down 20%. But shoppers flocked online instead. The biggest digital Black Friday ever delivered a jump in online sales of 21.6% compared to 2019.

Notably, online sales also skyrocketed here in Australia, where pandemic fears have reduced. Our changed buying habits during self-isolation may be sticking, accelerating the uptake of online shopping…

But what really caught our eye were mobile sales.

U.S. sales via mobile this year overindexed compared to desktop, increasing 25%. That put mobile at 40% of all online sales.

Now this may seem to still leave mobile as the little sister, but for an indication of how far this trend could go, take a look at Shopify. The ecommerce platform, which pivoted to focus its development on mobile several years ago, racked up $2.4 billion in Black Friday sales this year – up 75% globally and 80% in Australia. And a whopping 67% of these sales were on mobile (that’s actually a 2% decrease from last year!).

So whether you’re selling through your website, your own app, Spotify’s Shop app, Instagram’s new Shop tab or somewhere else –  it’s time to start thinking more about your business’s mobile experience.

Have you got a smart digital strategy that helps you cut through and get noticed? We can help you craft your customers’ mobile experience. 

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