We’re rounding the home stretch and heading toward the holiday shopping finish line. The results from Thanksgiving and Cyber Weeks are in for 2017 and eCommerce retailers and marketers should be thrilled. Online sales in the U.S. reached a record-breaking $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday alone, according to Adobe Analytics; this, along with a 16.9% increase in dollars spent online on Black Friday compared to 2016. There has been a shift toward online shopping for some time and now consumers are increasingly favoring mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) for their shopping needs, this year more than ever.

It’s no surprise because we’ve seen steady growth in both mobile site traffic and online revenue during the holiday shopping season the past several years. But, this year truly reached new heights as online sales from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday set the record at close to $20 billion, up 15% year-over-year YOY from 2016, according to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI). Mobile sales represented 33.1% of that revenue, up 22.2% YOY.

Why are we turning to our phones and tablets for our shopping needs? To me, the answer is simple – it’s easier. Mobile shopping is efficient and convenient. Shoppers already know what products they want and where to find the best deals for them, and can do so quickly without firing up their desktops.

"Consumers are now savvier and more apt to do their own product research. Comparison shopping is more convenient than ever before with smartphones. Mobile internet finally has a solid foothold in the digital landscape. Companies are realizing that it’s no longer an afterthought— it's a primary driver and delivering on a seamless user experience across channels and devices is crucial.” said Zach Trimble, Listrak Product Manager.

From a personal perspective, I rely on my favorite retailers to offer mobile optimized sites-- sometimes apps-- and more than ever, SMS coupon offers and discounts. It’s convenient for me and truly only as far away as my pocket. Companies such as Target, Macy's, Kohl's and Nordstrom have all been seen making investments in their mobile apps.

Convenience was key for me this year as I became a mother in September. With my brand-new baby in tow, I headed out for a shopping trip to Kohl’s for their pre-Thanksgiving Day sale to use a $10 coupon which was only redeemable in stores. I didn’t bring my stroller (I guess I skipped that day in New Mom 101) and had to lug baby around a crowded store and subsequently wait in long lines. After that, I decided to finish the rest of my shopping online-- from my iPhone that is.

It seems a lot of shoppers made the same decision I did this year. Kohl’s reported that its website had a “record-breaking” Thanksgiving, with roughly 16 million online visits that day, while JCPenney said online traffic had increased by “double digits” the week of Thanksgiving, with consumers using mobile devices to shop for gifts.

On Cyber Monday alone, mobile-driven revenue tipped the scales at $2 billion. So, what phones are shoppers favoring? The average order value for an Apple iOS user was $123, with Google Android users coming in at an average order value of $110.

Overall, more than half of Thanksgiving weekend’s online purchases were placed on mobile devices, according to data from Adobe Analytics, which measures online transactions by the 100 largest U.S. online retailers. Visits to physical stores dropped off as many retailers offered the same deals online as they did in-store.

I’m happy that retailers are realizing that in an age where we are all busy and looking for any little way to save time and energy, offering the same incentive online and in-store will please those of us mobile shoppers.

As the last big push for holiday shopping commences this week, it’s not too late to offer SMS incentives for your last-minute shoppers who may be turning to their mobile device to purchase those last few gift items on their lists.

If you’re new to SMS marketing, take a look at Listrak’s SMS State of the Industry infographic to gain a clear understanding of the current state of SMS. Listrak clients, take advantage of Listrak’s SMS offering by contacting your account manager today.
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