Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Results

December 2, 2013

NRF-Thanksgiving-Weekend-Shopping-Trends-2013-v-2012-Dec2013The Thanksgiving weekend shopping results continue to come in, and signs indicate that as expected, traffic was up on Thanksgiving Day, while e-commerce sales hit new highs on Black Friday. Survey results from the NRF suggest that overall sales dipped by almost 3%, although ShopperTrak estimates that brick-and-mortar traffic and sales were both up 2.3% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday relative to last year. Unsurprisingly, e-commerce spending growth was much larger, with mobile appearing to have accounted for roughly 40% of online traffic and one-quarter of online sales.

The NRF survey indicates that close to 1 in 5 American adults shopped on Thanksgiving, up from about 15% last year.

According to comScore, desktop-based retail e-commerce spending increased by 15% year-over-year on Black Friday, reaching $1.2 billion. But Thanksgiving Day sales rose by an even greater 21%, to $766 million, as comScore notes that it is now the fastest-growing online shopping day over the past 5 years.

IBM’s figures were a little different, but still showed strong growth for both days. The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark pegged year-over-year online sales growth at 19.7% on Thanksgiving Day and 18.9% on Black Friday.

Meanwhile, Monetate’s analysis of Black Friday shopping found traffic up 10.2% while revenues were up 54.2% on the back of more purchases (+30.6%) and higher average order values (+18.3%). Custora reports that Black Friday online shopping revenues increased by 16% year-over-year, and traffic by 4%.

Finally, Adobe Digital Index paints the rosiest picture, indicating that Thanksgiving online sales reached $1.06 billion, up 18% over last year, while Black Friday e-commerce spending hit a new record of $1.93 billion, up by more than 30% from last year.

Following are some categorized highlights from the weekend.

Mobile Commerce

  • On Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, almost one-quarter of online sales occurred on a smartphone or tablet, reports Adobe, such that mobile commerce sales grew by 118% year-over-year. Adobe also reveals that the iPad ($417 million) drove more sales than the iPhone ($126 million) and Android phones ($106 million) combined.
  • Custora says that 37% of Black Friday orders were completed on a phone (23%) or tablet (14%) this year, up from 25% last year. The vast majority – 84% – of mobile orders occurred via Apple devices.
  • Mobile represented almost 40% of online traffic on Black Friday (24.9% smartphones; 14.2% tablets), per IBM, up 34% from last year. Meanwhile, mobile accounted for 21.8% of Black Friday online sales (up 43% year-over-year), with tablets driving twice as many sales as smartphones (14.4% vs. 7.2%), as tablet average order values ($132.75) were about 15% higher than smartphone AOVs ($115.63). In the OS breakdown, iOS beat Android in Black Friday traffic (28.2% vs. 11.4%), sales (18.1% vs. 3.5%), and average order values ($127.92 vs. $105.20). Finally, mobile devices accounted for 25.8% of online sales on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Black Friday revenue increases were greater on tablets (178.9%) and smartphones (127.2%) than on desktops and laptops (56.4%), reports Monetate.
  • ChannelAdvisor says that mobile traffic reached 39.6% of all online traffic on Black Friday, and 39% of traffic on Thanksgiving Day. Mobiles represented about one-quarter of total orders on those days, though smartphone conversion rates lagged desktop and tablet significantly.
  • Smartphones (21.2%) and tablets (18.5%) accounted for about 40% of paid search spending on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, finds Kenshoo, capturing 44.2% of search clicks. More than one-quarter of paid search-driven revenues derived from tablets (22.4%) and phones (4.4%), a 176% year-over-year increase.

Top Products and Retailers

  • The NRF survey results indicate that clothing and clothing accessories (57.5%) were the most popular items among Thanksgiving weekend shoppers, followed by electronics (37.7%), books, CDs, DVDs and video games (36.1%) and toys (34.5%).
  • Apparel and accessories have accounted for a leading 28% share of desktop-based retail e-commerce spending for the holiday season-to-date, says comScore, ahead of computer hardware (19%) and consumer electronics (7%).
  • Of the holiday shoppers who shopped through Black Friday and bought consumer electronics, 55% did so online, per the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). 35% of shoppers bought a CE product, says the CEA, a figure quite consistent with the NRF results. Tablets were the most popular purchase, by 29% of CE shoppers, ahead of headphones (24%), video game hardware (21%), smartphones (19%) and laptop/notebook computers (17%).
  • Despite the surge in online shopping, a majority 54.2% of NRF survey respondents said they visited their favorite department store during the weekend, while many also visited discount stores (38.9%) and electronics stores (38.9%). As for e-commerce, 26.5% of holiday shoppers claimed to have shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, and 47.1% on Black Friday.
  • An analysis from Placed suggests that Walmart was the top brick-and-mortar shopping destination on Black Friday, with more than twice the share of shoppers as its closest competitor, Target. Rounding out the top 5 in-store destinations were Best Buy, The Home Depot and Lowe’s.
  • How about online? The most-visited online retail properties on Black Friday, according to comScore, were: Amazon; eBay; Walmart; Best Buy; and Target. In all, 66 million Americans visited an online retail site from a desktop computer that day.
  • ChannelAdvisor reports that eBay had the fastest year-over-year growth on Black Friday, up 38%, while Amazon sales were up 34.7% year-over-year.
  • Brick-and-click retailers are outselling online-only retailers by a 3:1 ratio so far this year, says Adobe.

Social Commerce

  • Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest combined accounted for less than 1% of online shopping on Black Friday, says Custora.
  • IBM reports that Black Friday shoppers referred from Pinterest spent 77% more per order on average than those referred by Facebook ($92.51 vs. $52.30). But, Facebook referrals converted at almost a 4 times higher rate than Pinterest referrals.
  • Amazon was the most mentioned retailer on social networks during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, reveals Adobe, closely followed by Walmart.

Retailer Promotions and Marketing

  • About three-quarters of NRF survey respondents said they took advantage of retailers’ promotions to buy non-gift items this past weekend, a figure consistent with last year’s results.
  • Shoppers most commonly looked for information about promotions and sales through advertising circulars (49.2%), while about 37% kept track of emails from retailers, one-third conducted online searches, 1 in 6 monitored retail companies’ Facebook accounts, and 1 in 8 browsed stores for bargains.
  • Almost 40% of online orders on Black Friday came from organic (25%) or paid (15%) search, says Custora, while more than 20% of sales could be attributed to retailers’ emails.
  • Retailers sent 37% more push notifications during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday than their daily averages over the past couple of months, with more notifications sent on Thanksgiving Day than Black Friday, says IBM. Retail application installations were up 23% over daily averages.
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