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Black Friday 2015 Recap

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Our work here at Demac for months and months has been leading up to this moment, the weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday! There’s more to come as Christmas edges closer, but these two days are madness for our industry. Think Black Friday is purely American “holiday”? Nope, Canadians get in on the action too. Furthermore, no longer is Black Friday an in-store only extravaganza. Even with their own designated holiday – Cyber Monday – online retailers are participating in the Black Friday deals too. What does this say about overall commerce? Well, that there really is no separation between the physical and digital anymore; but that’s a whole different topic we’ll discuss in the future. For now, let’s take a look at what went down on Black Friday 2015!

Brick and Mortar Sales

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In-store sales for Black Friday were slightly down this year compared to last year. In the U.S. store sales totalled $12.1 billion for Thursday and Friday, last year stores reported sales of $12.9 billion for the same time period. This might not come as a big surprise to some, as it was predicted before the holiday sale season that economic chill has put the freeze on consumers spending big this year. We also think that the lack of sales growth can be attributed to promotion creep, as retailers begin slashing prices and offering discounts in the week leading up to Black Friday.

ShopperTrak released a statement addressing the drop in sales this year, noting that greater retail sales were generate prior to Black Friday. The drop was only slight, indicating that retailers were able to successfully elongate the holiday season for their businesses and compete against the rising online competition. For the entire 2015 holiday shopping season Shoppertrak stands by their estimate that bricks-and-mortar will see a 2.4% increase in retail sales.

Related: 15 Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday Email Campaigns

eCommerce Sales

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Digital reigned supreme this Black Friday, with more consumers buying online than ever before! Online sales were up double digits this year. No need to camp outside of your local Best Buy to get the latest and greatest in technology at a discounted price, when you shop from home (or work! just don’t tell my boss.) to receive the same deal.

Adobe Digital Index tacked online sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday and reports that they were up 18% YoY at $4.35 billion, exceeding expectations. Although the number of people shopping online during Black Friday continues to grow, average order value fell when compared to a year ago. Email marketing still remains a strong driver of holiday revenue for businesses, with 14% of sales attributed to email promotions.

Related: Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2014 eCommerce Report

Smartphones The Device of Choice for Shoppers

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According to reports from IBM, mobile accounted for 60% of all online traffic on Thanksgiving and 54.4% of traffic on Black Friday. Mobile still isn’t the go-to choice for customers making a purchase (desktop is still top-dog), but the numbers indicate it’s growing; on Thanksgiving 40% of sales were completed on a mobile device, and for Black Friday 35.3% of sales were on mobile. To put this growth into perspective, compared to Black Friday last year smartphone sales grew and astounding 70%! Tablet just aren’t a popular as smartphones when it comes to browsing and buying, only driving 13.7% of all shopping traffic.

It’s predicted that mobile will account for most of the eCommerce growth this holiday season, as desktop purchases start to slightly drop-off in a more mobile-friendly digital world.

Related: Make Your List and Check it Twice! Magento Holiday Performance Checklist

What’s in Store for Cyber Monday?

We’ll have to wait and see how Cyber Monday goes for digital retailers, however based on statistics from Black Friday we anticipate even more impressive numbers from mobile devices. Some predictions from sources online state that Cyber Monday will overshadow Black Friday this year, with more consumers purchasing online and retailers wanting to cash-in on the digital craze. We’ll of course have a recap of the cyber sales day on the blog to see how the two compare.

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