Black Friday and Cyber Monday Smash Sales Records as Shoppers Go Mobile

Posted on December 06, 2017

Posted by Steven Von Gerlachter

It’s that time of year again – another Black November, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday have come and gone. Increased consumer spending1 and a bolstered housing market2 led to the hype surrounding these retail holidays in 2017, and now that the results are in, we’ve learned a few things. We saw huge growth in e-commerce as the shopper/retailer paradigm continues to shift. Black Friday isn’t dead; it’s evolving.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were HUGE this year.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought in more than $11.5B this year with both days being up almost 17 percent in dollars Y/Y3. This growth was spurred largely by e-commerce, specifically mobile e-commerce, which saw 45 percent of traffic and 26 percent of transactions4. But it wasn’t just the big box stores cashing in on mobile: Shopify said that 65 percent of orders on Black Friday were from mobile devices5. Amazon was a winner on Black Friday, claiming a staggering 55 percent of transactions6.

Retailer Thanksgiving Black Friday Two-day total 5,637,469 7,139,727 12,777,196 1,736,749 1,139,003 2,875,752 1,036,403 646,066 1,682,469 649,044 423,441 1,072,485 603,807 438,728 1,042,535

Transactions by Retailer, Source: Hitwise

Retailers and shoppers are evolving together.

IMHO, Thanksgiving has always been a couch-centric holiday. You wake up and go lounge on the couch until lunch, eat too much then back to the couch to watch football, grudgingly leave the couch to eat more for dinner, then back to the couch for a siesta or more football. It would seem that the love of couches we see on Thanksgiving is spilling over into Black Friday.

As more and more shoppers move to e-commerce deals on Black Friday, one could say it’s becoming “Couch Friday,” as people still work to shake off that food coma from the day before by spending time with their mobile device. The Home Depot saw mobile shopping overtake desktop shopping on Black Friday7. Mobile shopping plays a critical role in the shoppers’ path to purchase as they research online the items they want to buy and compare them. This phenomenon (known as “webrooming”) gives retailers hope that increased conversion online will offset any decline in foot traffic to their stores. The caveat is that the website experience must be as good or better than the in-store experience.

In addition to shopping deals on their smartphones and tablets, shoppers were scrolling through their newsfeeds. According to Facebook IQ, 130MM people joined the Black Friday/Cyber Monday on Facebook and Instagram8. What were they doing on Facebook? Watching videos – more than 450 million videos were viewed in the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday9. Video is a continuing trend for Facebook as a platform because it has found that one in three mobile shoppers consider video the best platform for discovering new products10.

Evolution also came from everyone’s favorite online retailer, Amazon. Bezos and Co. rolled out a 50-days of Black Friday shopping bonanza providing decent deal appetizers leading up to the Black Friday main course11.

Black Friday isn’t going anywhere.

Foot traffic in stores was down less than 1 percent on Black Friday this year, but it was still an enormous day for retailers12 as the day accounted for over $5B. Brands like Nike and Lululemon provided in-store experiences allowing their shoppers to play basketball or listen to live music. Target determined that the deal-hungry were also ACTUALLY hungry and handed out snacks at the door. Amazon was spreading the Black Friday cheer in places that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, as they opened a pop-up shop in the UK13. Meanwhile, stateside treasure trucks dole out deep discount turkeys the day before Thanksgiving.

Just another manic Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday 2017 set the record for the largest online US shopping day in history clearing $6.5B in sales, up 16.8% Y/Y14. It also has the distinction of being the first day in which mobile sales cleared $2B15. Of the most effective platforms on Cyber Monday, we saw the usual suspects – Search 41.7 percent of conversions (paid 22.9 percent, organic 18.8 percent), CRM/Email at 24.9 percent of conversions, and direct traffic at 24.8 percent16. Cyber Monday CRM/Email activity even edged out Black Friday emails as they were 53 percent more likely to convert17. Cyber Monday used to be a day to offer free shipping, but consumers want more as Black Friday becomes diluted.

So what?

If you’re a retailer, marketer or a retail marketer, it’s likely you were busy on from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. If you also had a great mobile e-commerce site, a memorable in-store experience and some awesome video content, your hand may be hurting from all the high fives you have received. What if you didn’t have those things? That’s OK, but you really should begin to execute on those three areas to set your business up for success in 2018.

About Scoppechio

Founded in 1987 and one of the nation’s leading independent agencies, Scoppechio is a full-service omnichannel marketing services provider located in the heart of the Louisville business district. With billings of over $225 million and more than 170 employees, it serves a broad client portfolio that includes Brown-Forman, Darden Restaurants, Yum! Brands, Gold Star Chili, Coney Island, GE Appliances, LG&E and KU Energy, Baptist Health System, Community Health Systems (CHS), and more. In addition to its headquarters in Louisville, Scoppechio office locations include Cincinnati, OH and Columbus, OH. For additional information, visit