Mobile traffic drives Black Friday sales growth

The majority of retail traffic on Black Friday came via mobile devices, with online sales in the UK up six per cent on last year.

According to data from retail consultancy Salmon, eager deal seekers woke early to grab the best bargains primarily on mobile with 17 per cent of visits occurring between midnight and 3am on Friday 24 November.

Mobile usage also hit a Black Friday record of 81 per cent at 6am, according to Salmon, with 67 per cent of traffic coming from mobile and 33 per cent from desktop devices over the course of the day.

Figures from PCA Predict also show that online sales this Black Friday saw a six per cent growth compared to last year. The data found that after a slow start – which saw online sales between midnight and 7am fall by almost a quarter (24 per cent) compared to 2016 – sales began to pick up between 8-9am with the highest number of online transactions processed between 1-2pm.

However, stats released by Qubit showed that although most shoppers were visiting retailers’ sites via mobile, the share of revenue from mobile was low across all days of the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend. For example, on Black Friday itself, 36.5 per cent of all revenue was from mobile, down 1.7 per cent on last year.

The data also found that Black Friday average order value fell 16.4 per cent to £102, meaning online UK shoppers spent an average of £20.12 less than they did last year.

Graham Cooke, Qubit CEO, said: “Retailers are facing a megatrend that’s coming through loud and clear in the data from Black Friday. The holiday season is the biggest online event of the year, and it’s now mobile-first. Traditional mobile sites just aren’t designed for the way people want to discover and buy online.

“The channel is a ‘leaky bucket’ with consistently less revenue per visit than on desktop. This is a hard problem to solve, but we believe those retailers who put a focus on their mobile experience and employ technology like artificial intelligence, will game-change their mobile revenue for Black Friday 2018.”

Nicola Longfield, director of small businesses at PayPal UK, added: “With 30 per cent of UK consumers expecting to shop on mobile more often in the next 12 months, that figure only looks set to increase. Despite this, just a fifth of the UK’s small businesses recognise the lucrative opportunity Black Friday offers them, and only 18 per cent are mobile-friendly – meaning they could be missing out on a huge amount of sales by not embracing the new consumer calendar.”

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