Smartphone-Only Mobile Commerce Up 221% On Thanksgiving, Up 128% On Black Friday

The numbers keep rolling in: mobile commerce startup Branding Brand released new reports detailing holiday shopping sales on mobile, but unlike the other e-commerce reports which came out over the holidays, this one only includes data on commerce sites where the experience has been specifically tailored for smartphones. It also only looks at smartphones, to be clear, and doesn’t lump tablets into the “mobile” category.

The startup, for those unfamiliar closed a $7.5 million Series A round in October for its mobile commerce platform that powers the apps and sites for big-name brands. Customers the company can disclose include American Eagle Outfitters, Anthropologie, The Children’s Place, Costco, Crate & Barrel, Dick’s Sporting Goods,, Eastern Mountain Sports, GNC, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Steve Madden, Timberland, Tumi, and West Marine. In other words, when Branding Brand offers data, it tends to be a very specific slice of the e-commerce pie – it looks at how the largest of retailers are faring on mobile.

To generate this year’s data, Branding Brand compiled an index of 66 mobile sites for retailers across a variety of categories, including apparel, health and beauty, and home goods. It’s the largest index that shows only smartphone-optimized website traffic, as opposed to non-optimized, desktop websites visited by mobile users. That’s a big difference.

And why is this important? Branding Brand’s CEO and co-founder Chris Mason explains: “While most industry reports capture overall mobile usage, a true chasm of analytical performance data exists between how people use mobilized and non-mobilized websites. Lumping both formats together in the same report skews usage data, since engagement is much higher on mobilized sites when there’s no need constantly pinch and zoom,” he stated. “We are finding that, if you build a mobile site, the mobile dollars are coming much faster.”

The company says that it saw a 221% year-over-year increase in Thanksgiving mobile sales on Thanksgiving Day, with visits up 103%, pageviews up 133%, average order value up 19%.

In total, on Thanksgiving, Branding Brand’s index showed:

  • 3,086,154 visitors (63% iOS; 32% Android)
  • 17,364,602 page views (62% iOS; 33% Android)
  • 29,880 orders (70% iOS; 29% Android)
  • $81 average order value ($81 iOS; $80 Android)
  • 20.25% of total e-commerce traffic came from smartphones

On Black Friday, sales were up 128%, with visits up 101%, pageviews up 99%, and average order value decreased by 7.46% (there must have been some deep discounts out there.)

On Black Friday, Branding Brand’s index included:

  • 3,513,367 visitors (63% iOS; 32% Android)
  • 20,708,053 page views (62% iOS; 33% Android)
  • 50,905 orders (69% iOS; 29% Android)
  • $78.92 average order value ($80.37 iOS; $75.43 Android)
  • 20.44% of total e-commerce traffic came from smartphones

What’s interesting is to compare these numbers with the larger study put out by IBM Benchmark over the holiday. That report looked at over 500 websites from large U.S. retailers, tracking e-commerce transactions. While obviously a bigger index, it’s also one looking at all online sales – desktop, mobile and tablet. According to IBM, mobile traffic was up to 28.5% and mobile sales reached 15.4%. From the big picture standpoint, you can see the growth of mobile as a part of the greater e-commerce whole in IBM’s data. But with Branding Brand’s report, you can see specifically how smartphones alone are making an impact.

Update: If you want to get an even narrower window on m-commerce stats from mobile (separating iPhones from iPads), has also just released updated data from the Black Friday weekend, showing:

  • Mobile orders = 30% of total.
  • Mobile revenue = 35% of total.
  • iPad conversion rate hit an all-time high of 8%
  • Web conversion rate hit an all-time high of 9%
  • iPhone conversion rate hit an all-time high of 6%
  • Items per order hit an all-time high of 2.6
  • iPad led all devices in terms of items per order and average order size
  • Fab sold nearly $1M on Black Friday and more than $2.5M over the Black Friday weekend (Friday – Sunday).
  • 2/3 of Fab’s sales from Black Friday to Cyber Monday came from repeat buyers.