First Things First ... Let's Look at the Numbers
If you haven't seen it already, the big news this year was online sales surpassing in-store sales for the first time during Black Friday.
RetailDive.com tells us that early numbers of in-store sales from retail research firm ShopperTrack showed brick-and-mortar sales at $12.1 billion for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. That is down 10% from last year!
On the other hand, eCommerce sales saw a large increase during the weekend. Adobe reports that about $4.45 billion was spent online during those two days, rising 14% from 2014. Just as we suspected -- shoppers are moving their holiday spending online!
Numbers aside...let's take a unique look at the shopping holidays in 2015
While the stats above have been blasted out to thousands of different press releases, blogs, and articles, we're going to give you a look at something you won't find anywhere else: first-hand shopping experiences from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015. Here at AddShoppers, we love to shop online so we're sharing the best deals we participated in over the weekend with you. We'll also include some key takeaways that you can use to help plan your 2016 marketing initiatives to drive maximum revenue next year.
How did the AddShoppers team personally tackle these shopping holidays?
Our Operations Manager, Alli, headed to Carters.com to shop for her niece and nephew. She had confidence that this brand would have an excellent discount, and they did. With a deal like this she was able to buy more than anticipated. Her niece and nephew will be spoiled on Christmas for sure.
JCrew.com lured our CRO, Chad, to their site with a snappy looking email that included animated gift boxes on a conveyor belt. He was in need of a new hat and scarf so the deep discount was too good to ignore. Not only that, but with language like "Ends Tonight!" it created a sense of urgency that propelled him not to hesitate.
Another 50% off promotion from Express.com was irresistible to Client Success Designer, Tracy. Additionally, she added, "the designer nerd in me loved the design." There is most definitely something to be said for a slick visual aesthetic that is carried throughout emails, home page banners, and social posts. This cohesive marketing tactic was executed flawlessly.
Speaking of Social Media, BDR Nick saw an Instagram post that motivated him to take action. After receiving a gi from InvertedGear.com for Christmas last year, he became a big fan and started following them because he wanted to snag another one. Luckily for him this promotion was just what he was waiting for. Now he is ready to crush more opponents at his Brazilian Jujitsu Tournaments.
Dave, our Creative Director, heard from friends about some super deals on STEAM. This goes to show just how Word-of-Mouth and friend referrals can be invaluable for gaining new customers and creating more revenue. GAME ON!
Director of Partnerships, Kellye, needed a new suitcase and was waiting for Black Friday to roll around before pulling the trigger. She went straight to Samsonite because this was a brand she trusted. While the coupon code was considerable, she found a suitcase on sale for an excellent price. No coupon needed and she will be traveling in style this holiday season.
If there is anyway to attach a philanthropic effort to your promotion you can bet it will be a factor in your conversion rate. Lizzy, also a BDR, received this email from thirdlove.com and it resonated with her heartstrings. Not only is the price cut on this item substantial but they will also donate a bra to a women in need. How could you not proceed to checkout with an offer like that?
As for me personally, I knew exactly where to go. My Mom had specifically requested a quilting frame from HancockFabrics.com. I already had the link bookmarked and luckily for me the price had been reduced from $109.99 to $79.99. With a coupon for 15% off and Free Shipping for orders over $60 I was super stoked. (As long as my Mom doesn't see this blog and spoil her surprise.)
What does all this mean and what should we expect next year?
With Black Friday sales starting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday extending several days into the next week, the lines of these two major shopping events will continue to blur. Retailers should be very strategic in keeping customers engaged continuously and to give them more reasons to shop at their site throughout this time period. At this point it is more of a marathon than a sprint to finish out Q4.
What about mobile?
TechCrunch.com tells us mobile sales increased a considerable amount this Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. According to the IMB Watson Report, the traffic from phones and tablets exceeded desktop traffic for the first time on Cyber Monday. Adobe also predicted that 49% of visits and 28% of sales totaling $514 million would come from these devices.
If your eCommerce site is not optimized for mobile on an array of devices you could be missing out on a large amount of potential sales. Test and re-test and test some more on different devices and operating systems to make sure your site is running smoothly all the way through the checkout process. Mobile sales and traffic will only continue to grow into the future.
How were your mobile conversion rates this Black Friday/Cyber Monday?
If you didn't see quite the mobile conversion rates you were expecting to see during the shopping holidays (or the rest of the year, for that matter), join our upcoming webinar for exclusive strategies on boosting your mobile conversion rates.
Mobile devices have now officially overtaken desktops in usage, but they convert 3.47x lower than desktops. Now is the perfect time to make sure your eCommerce site is able to convert the ever-rising share of mobile traffic.
Webinar: 5 Ways to Boost Mobile Conversion Rates For 2016
December 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM EDT