Mobile Beats Thanksgiving, Black Friday Foot Traffic; Cyber Monday Sales Brisk

Holiday shopping

NEW YORK – Foot traffic at retailers across the United States over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend wasn’t as strong as last year, reports retail tracking firm ShopperTrak. 

Shoppers’ visits to physical stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday registered a 1.6-percent drop from 2016. Meanwhile, store visits solely on Black Friday fell by less than 1 percent compared with 2016.

Other research suggests that more consumers turned to their mobile phones throughout November to seek deals, implying that online buying continues to take a larger share of shoppers’ dollars during the holidays.

Adobe Insights, which measures 80 percent of digital spending from 100 major U.S. retailers, said a record $5.03 billion was spent online by the end of Black Friday, an increase of 17 percent from a year ago. Purchases made on mobile devices accounted for nearly 37 percent of total revenue that day, Adobe found.

Another study from researcher PSFK says retailers expect that mobile retail’s share of revenue will grow 10 percent by 2020. Brick-and-mortar retail will lose a 10-percent share of sales, while desktop internet will see a 7-percent decline in that period, the survey of 400 retail professionals found.

Despite brisk Internet sales, ShopperTrak said the season isn’t over for physical retail just yet, with eight of the 10 anticipated “busiest shopping days” still left to go, including Dec. 16 and Dec. 23.

In a related study, Rakuten Marketing reports click-through and ad engagement rates jumped 154 percent and 111 percent, respectively, during the week before Thanksgiving, suggesting consumers were researching products for their holiday shopping gift list in advance of the weekend.

Mobile was a key driver of research, with 46 percent of all page views occurring on a mobile device during Thanksgiving week. Mobile revenue was up 43 percent during the same period, indicating consumers are still researching more than they are purchasing on mobile. 

As for Cyber Monday – the biggest online spending day of the year – Adobe reports consumer spending was up 17 percent from a year ago, in line with its forecast of Monday sales to reach $6.6 billion. That adds to $43.4 billion spent online from Nov. 1 to Nov. 26, also an increase from 2016.

More than half of the weekend’s online purchases were placed on mobile devices, according Adobe. Visits to physical stores, meanwhile, fell as many retailers offered the same deals online as they did in-store.