Is Black Friday becoming another Cyber Monday?

With this year’s Thanksgiving weekend over and Cyber Monday winding down, the media has weighed in on this year’s Black Friday holiday efforts to see where retailers scored big. So how did shopping activities stack up against previous years?

Mobile dominated this year’s sales

For the first year ever, mobile has become the dominant shopping channel across the Thanksgiving shopping week, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to IBM Commerce’s U.S. Retail Black Friday Report 2015, mobile shopping surpassed all other channels. The 2015 report found that mobile traffic “exceeded desktop, accounting for 57.2 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 15.2 percent over 2014.” Mobile sales also outpaced last year’s figures, with 36.2 of all online sales originating on mobile, an increase of 30 percent over last year.

The Omni-channel customer

According to a San Jose Mercury News article commenting on online vs. in-store shopping behaviors, most consumers are now considered "omni-channel customers," and use multiple channels to shop. Retailers are also promoting their apps as a means to score exclusive deals, perks and giveaways in hopes of users downloading their apps, which eventually (and ultimately) provides brands a wealth of data for focused, customized marketing efforts to each individual customers.

Shopping opportunities are spread out

NPR found that sales from stores are expected to increase by around 4 percent this holiday season, while sales from mobile phones are already up more than 23 percent over last Thanksgiving. According to “All Things Considered,” holiday shopping transactions are spread out over the entire month of November, as shoppers are expectations are shifting to “demanding more deals on more days, and more people are shopping online.”

This longer engagement window leads to many customers pre-shopping before Thanksgiving week, identifying items for purchase online before the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend. Some customers are even able to avoid the brick-and-mortar madness completely by using their smartphones and tablets exclusively for shopping this holiday season.

We’ll also be sharing our mobile app-specific findings on how retailers netted out over the Black Friday weekend, so stay tuned for our analysis over the next few days!