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Black Friday’s Mobile Madness

December 3rd, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Just how mobile are U.S. shoppers getting? Extremely, according to a PCMag roundup on the results of the Black Friday weekend. On Thanksgiving Day alone, PayPal statistics showed that mobile payments via its service were up by 173 percent compared to last year. Black Friday itself saw an even bigger increase in the number of mobile payments, up by 193 percent at PayPal. Overall, PayPal’s total number of mobile shoppers was up 164 percent compared to 2011.

Etailer eBay also noted a similar increase in the number of mobile payments, up by 133 percent compared to last year, and eBay subsidiary GSI Commerce saw mobile sales increase by 170 percent.

IBM statistics over the holiday shopping weekend show similar growth. This year, IBM reports that some 24 percent of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales surpassed 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011.

Overall, IBM says 58 percent of consumers used smartphones and 41 percent used tablets to search for bargains over the Black Friday weekend. As you might expect, the iPad powered most of actual mobile sales. iPads accounted for almost 10 percent of online purchases, and for a whopping 88.3 percent of tablet traffic. iPhones made up 8.7 percent of online sales, and Android devices 5.5 percent.

Clearly, prognosticators’ predictions that this would be the year of the mobile shopper are coming true. And while mobile purchasing is still far from universal among consumers, what’s clear is that mobile devices are becoming essential tools in the research, bargain-hunting and product-finding process. Even customers who are leery of paying for products on a mobile device are happy to whip out those devices to help them find deals, stores and all the products on their gift lists.

How is your company adapting to the mobile mind-set of today’s consumer?

Image by Flickr user IntelFreePress (Creative Commons)

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