Thanksgiving + Black Friday Mobile Traffic Up 60% From 2010

Mobile is growing as a medium for ecommerce, with users sourcing deals from their phones and tablets before visiting physical stores according to a new study by Usablenet, The company which powers mobile sites for 100 top U.S. retailers including JCPenney, Aeropostale, and REI tracked 18 million page views and 1 million mobile users over Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It saw mobile traffic to its clients was up 60% from the same period last year, with Thanksgiving sending more traffic than the following day. Usablenet also found that iOS devices accounted for 42% of the traffic, trumping Android, and trouncing the tiny traffic from Windows and Nokia devices.

Earlier today, Leena reported that Black Friday online retail spending was up 24.3% this year, and that mobile increased it share of total traffic and sales. In addition to driving sales directly, though, mobile is facilitating offline sales and product pick-ups. Usablenet tells me, “Thanksgiving activity focused on finding and purchasing deals such as deals of the day, driven from email marketing along with high usage of the purchase online and pick up in-store option.”

On Black Friday, mobile usage centered around finding store locations, browsing reviews, and accessing previously saved wish lists while people walked aisles at their local merchants. These insights can help retailers plan for next year. They should look to send out email marketing and deal notices early on Thanksgiving, as that’s when people make decisions of where to shop. This could work better than distributing promotions right at the start of Black Friday when customers may have already set a shopping agenda.

Traffic by mobile operating system also mirrored sales, with iOS taking the biggest cut, but less than last year. Android is creeping up, accounting for 34% of mobile traffic up from 28% in 2010. BlackBerry still represents a respectable 15% of mobile traffic, while Windows and Nokia each made up less than 3%. If this trend continues, by next year it may be just as important for big retailers to offer Android apps as iOS ones.

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