Every year, consumers flock to stores to take advantage of specials on Black Friday. However, retailers are getting smarter in the new digital age, leveraging the power of online marketing to push out promotions as early as Wednesday or Thanksgiving Day Thursday, and extending them to Cyber Monday. However, Black Friday is always of interest for marketing professionals because it’s typically the beginning of the holiday shopping season, where consumers open their wallets to take advantage of season-ending specials. From an online marketing standpoint, overall performance reached new heights, setting sales records and providing intriguing insights into the efficacy of mobile marketing and social media advertising.
New Sales Record
With online retailers promoting specials as early as Thursday, or even in some cases, Wednesday, it was expected that sales would begin to stagnate or even drop on the much celebrated (or maligned, in some cases) Black Friday. However, sales increased by 19 percent over 2012, and the average order rose to $135.27, up 2.2 percent over the previous year. Additionally, sales on Thanksgiving rose by 19.7 percent compared to last year, indicating that the average deal-seeking consumer is more inclined to spend as much as possible earlier than normal.
Mobile Sales and Traffic Skyrocket
Unsurprisingly, mobile traffic and sales performance were considerably higher than a year ago, reinforcing the belief that mobile marketing will surpass traditional desktop search and usage by late 2015/early 2016. Here are some of the key statistics:
Google vs. Apple: Yet Another Mobile OS Battle
The average amount spent per iOS user was $127.92 per order, almost $28 on average more than the regular Android mobile user. Apple also reigned supreme when it came to generating traffic and sales: iOS traffic topped 28.2 percent of all online traffic on Black Friday, and was responsible for 18.1 percent of all online revenue generated. Android users, on the other hand, only drove 11.4 percent of all web traffic and 3.5 percent of all online revenue generated.
What About Social Media?
When it comes to e-commerce performance, online marketing professionals and social media enthusiasts alike know that Facebook and Pinterest dominate the likes of Twitter and Google+. Which one came out on top this past holiday weekend? The answer depends on which metric you analyze. Referred users from Pinterest generated an average order value of $92.51, 77 percent higher than the average order from a referred Facebook user. However, Facebook referrals proved to generate more conversions, generating orders at nearly four times the rate of the aforementioned image-pinning site.
To view the rest of the Black Friday statistics, you can view the IBM report here.