Trends on Tuesday: Holiday Shopping Sales Show a Move Towards Mobile-First

U.S. shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices to make purchases during the busiest shopping days: Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend.

Three brightly colored mini shopping bags sit on a smart phone

According to Custora, online Black Friday sales rose more than 16% compared to last year, and smartphone use rose to more than 36% (up from 30% last year), with iPhones accounting for the lion’s share of purchases: 77.6%, compared to 22.1% for Android.

The Apple iOS purchase dominance was cited by other reports too. Adobe Marketing Cloud’s report on the holiday weekend said, “On Thanksgiving, $639 million in sales came via mobile devices: 71% ($456 million) via iOS and 28% ($180 million) via Android. On Black Friday, $905 million in sales came via mobile devices: 74% ($670 million) via iOS and 25% ($230 million) via Android.”

Data show that the divide between mobile and tablet devices is often split by age. According to IAB’s Digital Shopping Report, Americans 18-34 prefer smartphones for their retail shopping experiences, and ages 35-54 prefer to use tablets. The most popular activities on both mobile and tablet devices are utility-driven:

  • Locating store hours and locations
  • Browsing products and price comparison shopping
  • Reading reviews
    Paper shopping bags on computer tablet screen

This increase in mobile shopping and purchasing is further evidence that more people are becoming comfortable with going mobile-first for complex or sensitive data, like making purchases.

Government website audiences are a little slower than audiences in the mainstream and commercial space, but they’re growing in double digit numbers and will soon make the shift, so agencies need to move quickly to modernize their technology and user experiences to be optimized for mobile users.

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