Black Friday underwent a big change this year, an increase in mobile shopping. This new shift in consumer behavior could find unprepared retailers left out in the cold for the rest of the holiday season.
With businesses slashing their prices just to get people in their doors, store employees skipping a second helping of Thanksgiving turkey to rush back to work, and the fierce competition for the best deals resulting in black and blue customers… Black Friday in stores is rapidly turning the spirit of the season into the storefront equivalent of a black mass.
For years, consumers have turned to online shopping to avoid the frustration of crowded parking lots, long lines, and sold-out special deals. But for the first time ever, more online consumers filled their shopping carts from their smartphones or tablets than from their desktop computers.
According to this Business Insider article, IBM's 2015 Black Friday report found that more than 57% of visits to ecommerce sites were conducted on a mobile device — an increase of 50% over the previous year. In addition, more than 36% of online ecommerce sales closed on mobile devices.
Any increase in online purchasing is a win for the ecommerce industry. However, when it comes to smartphone shopping, all it takes is one irrelevant search result or a problem with the checkout process for a shopper to lose confidence, abandon their cart, and head straight for the competition. So, when signs of an impending mobile mass migration like this emerge, it means it's more essential than ever for retailers to optimize their digital storefronts to provide a seamless mobile experience.
What characterizes an excellent experience on mobile? At Prove, we've found that consumers appreciate attention to the details — things like large buttons that make clicking easier, intuitive tools that help them make informed purchase decisions, and streamlined checkout processes that require as little typing as possible. The ability for visitors to customize the search results they receive is also a big bonus when shopping on a small screen. Above all, ensuring that customer service is easy to access on mobile devices is the best way to earn consumer trust and loyalty long after the holiday decorations have been put away.
If the shopping experience you offer on mobile is more "humbug" than "hallelujah," we'd be happy to help you get back on your customers' "nice" list!