Black Friday Goes Online and on MobilePeter Reville |
Are some people finally getting tired of the chaos that is Black Friday at a traditional retail establishment? The answer is, maybe. A recent post on TotalPayments cited numbers from Adobe Systems Inc. and IBM Corp. that indicate somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion was spent at online retailers between Thanksgiving and Black Friday. That is no trivial sum. When we dig a little deeper into the data it gets even more interesting.
One quarter of that $3 billion spend was conducted on a mobile device—up 188 percent from last year. This spend was driven by tablets more so than smartphones. According to this post and others I have seen, the smartphone is for browsing while the tablet is for buying.
I guess it makes sense if you think about it: the relatively small screen of a smartphone makes eCommerce and mCommerce more difficult. The pictures are too small and so is the keyboard. Entering name address and payment information via a smartphone is no easy feat. With a tablet, however, the bigger screen allows one to get a better look at that present you are going to buy. Entering information is a heck of a lot easier too.
What’s it all mean? Mobile commerce is not going away; it is only going to get bigger and a more important portion of retailers’ business. eMarketer estimates that smartphone penetration in the US will increase from 44 percent in 2013 to 60 percent in 2016, while tablet penetration will climb from 41 percent to 49 percent over the same time period. The growth of PC shipments is slowing or even stalled. Retailers have to face this fact and develop responsive sites and apps that will work across multiple devices.