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Mobile Shopping Hits Record Highs This Black Friday

While many consumers still hit the streets for Black Friday sales, online shoppers are increasingly taking to their mobile devices.

Black Friday is a staple of Thanksgiving week. Whether it fills you with mortal dread and you cower reclusively in your closet or you pack up your coupons and hit up the town, it’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year. This year, in fact, mobile shopping hit record numbers. The masses no longer need to come out in droves (though they still do) — they can now enjoy once-a-year deals whilst luxuriating on their sofa bed. And boy did they.

Revenue for Black Friday was projected to hit about $3 billion in online sales, but they exceeded the anticipated amount by about $300 million. Percent year-to-year growth is double what was expected. Moreover, it was mobile sales — on smartphones in particular — that stunned the market, accounting for 36% of all Black Friday online sales. Purchases made on mobile devices generated more than $1 billion, which is an increase of over 30% from the year before.

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This is good news for major retailers. No matter the price cuts advertised, the advent of mobile and online shopping has really expanded their consumer base. Black Friday mobs are not for the faint-hearted, but retailers now have a viable alternative to appeal to customers with guaranteed, significant impact. For companies like Ebay and Amazon especially, who are leaders in online shopping, Thanksgiving week, and its pinnacle, Black Friday, is now one of their busiest traffic days for business.

Mobile orders on Amazon reached record highs, exceeding even Cyber Monday of last year — a day specifically dedicated to online buying! Tech products are the go-to deals for Black Friday shoppers, so as expected, Amazon is doing particularly well in sales for smart offers on the Echo Dot, for example.

Even retailers that are widely visited on site, like Walmart and Target, reported top numbers in online traffic and sales owed mainly to mobile. Similar to Amazon, Target enjoyed higher sales than it did on 2015’s Cyber Monday. Additionally, all three retailers (Amazon, Target, and Walmart) had the foresight to capitalize on the huge potential to gain a wider consumer base. They each made early announcements for special offers to mobile app users or enticed consumers with pre-sale deals. So with Black Friday type deals for electronics, tablets, and more rolling out early, potential customers were encouraged to download their mobile app before the big day. This way, by the time Black Friday rolled around, customers were ready with their app in tow and acclimated to its use. Hats off to that strategy.