Shifts in market dynamics are benefiting retailers this holiday season. Magnetic analyzed online traffic, conversions and sales across its large set of retail clients and uncovered noteworthy changes thanks to consumer behaviors and mobile device usage.
Two interesting trends came out of Magnetic’s first analysis of 2016 holiday data:
Overall, this year’s Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day data shows that site visits are up, conversion rates are down, but still driving more in total overall sales and orders than 2015. To what can we attribute this overall rise in traffic? Mobile devices. Combined for mobile and desktop, Magnetic saw Y/Y increases at multiple points throughout the Thanksgiving deal-focused weekend, which included the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Orders increased 3% in 2016, with total online sales (TOS) up 2%. The number of orders placed on Thanksgiving day increased 11%, with TOS up 5%, and Black Friday orders were up 14%, leading to a TOS increase of 5%. Overall Cyber Monday orders increased 2% with TOS up 4%.
Everything is up with mobile and it’s closing the gap as desktop and offline shows declines:
However, mobile conversion rates are typically less than 50% of the desktop conversion rate, so even with the increased mobile traffic, we still see decay in the overall conversion rates. Magnetic’s holiday data echoes this trend on Black Friday – although 64% of visits came from a mobile device, only 45% of orders were actually placed on a mobile.
What’s happening in the market is that brick and mortar sales are falling, but online is growing, which is being driven by mobile device usage. 2016 data from RetailNext confirmed that brick-and-mortar stores fell 5.0 percent, while the number of transactions fell 7.9 percent. Mobile is driving overall growth, despite decreases in offline and desktop activity.
Hopefully, next year will paint a different picture for growth of online as marketers implement better mobile experiences optimized for conversion, and people become increasingly comfortable with converting on smaller screens.
Cyber Monday beat Black Friday, but the gap is beginning to close between these two deal-focused days:
Cyber Monday traditionally outperforms Black Friday for online: In 2015, we saw 60% more orders on Cyber Monday (vs Black Friday 2015) and 30% higher TOS. This continues to be the case for 2016:
Although Cyber Monday outpaced Black Friday in terms of visits, orders, sales and performance, Black Friday had a higher overall growth rate. This shows that the lines are beginning to blur between those two big shopping days and that people are actually starting to purchase online over brick and mortar stores.
Consumer behavior tells us that people are taking advantage of sales and special deals all weekend long, across devices. People are no longer waiting until Cyber Monday to make online purchases and marketers are realizing that by extending their sales, and by having an online presence through both on desktop and mobile, they will likely capture more sales. The promise of online still has a long way to go, but if mobile screens can play a larger role in transactions next year, we’re sure to see the biggest boost ever in digital activity.
Want to learn more about holiday insights? Check out the article in MediaPost, highlighting Magnetic’s 2016 data.
Magnetic is an artificial intelligence company that uses machine learning to deliver smarter, faster, and more effective advertising. Our powerful AI platform continuously analyzes the attributes of over 350 million live user profiles alongside real-time inventory supply and bid opportunities to deliver highly performant audiences and profitable campaigns for our clients.