Retailers kicked off yet another holiday season and opened their doors to mobs of deal-hungry and bargain-hunting shoppers; only this year these “mobs” came in the form of online shoppers. With a 27% increase in paid search spend, a 19.7% increase in online sales, and a 43% increase in mobile sales over 2012, there is much to be learned regarding shifts in consumer buying behavior. While retailers saw record online sales it is important to note the growth and impact of mobile use, with mobile accounting for 39.7% of all online traffic and 21.8% of total online sales. According to IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark report for Black Friday 2013, the 2013 holiday season is kicking off with some noticeable trends and areas of growth for online sales.

Thanksgiving & Black Friday 2013 Highlights:

  • Record Online Sales: 19.7% increase in Thanksgiving Day online sales and 19% increase in Black Friday online sales

Black Friday Online Sales Trends

  • Boost in Mobile Shopping: Compared to paid search spend in 2012, search spend for computers fell 24.1% while spend rose by 79.1% on smartphones and 113.6% on tablets. Mobile traffic accounted for 39.7% of all online traffic, a 34% increase over 2012. Mobile sales accounted for 21.8% of all online sales, a 43% increase over 2012.
  • Smartphone vs. Tablet Behavior: A chart generated by IBM found within the Holiday Benchmark Report, details the trend in consumer buying behavior on mobile devices. While smartphones comprise of a larger portion of online site traffic, tablets account for more sales and higher order values. Thus, smartphone users are using their phones to browse items and make their purchases elsewhere, whereas tablet users are more apt to make purchases and spend a greater amount of time on sites.

Black Friday Mobile Performance Trends


  • Increase in “Push” Promotions to Mobile Devices: This year retailers sent 37% more push notifications and promotions during Thanksgiving and Black Friday in comparison to the daily averages over the past 2 months.

It’s clear that mobile devices have become such an integral part of our society and also such an influential component in our buying behavior and decisions. As consumers continue to adopt mobile devices, we are going to witness further and greater shifts in buying patterns and channels. Therefore, for advertisers within the e-commerce sector it is crucial that we adapt and shift our strategies and efforts to take advantage, or as some may argue – to keep up with, this ever-evolving mobile revolution.

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