Consumers Turn to Mobile Devices for Black Friday Shopping

Thanksgiving mobile shopping was 39.3 percent of online shopping, up from about a third on Thanksgiving in 2014, according to a new report.

mobile commerce and black friday

E-commerce and mobile devices are playing a bigger role in consumer shopping trends, according to a Custora report, which is based on Custora E-Commerce Pulse, which tracks more than 200 U.S. retailers, more than 500 million online shoppers and over $100 billion in e-commerce revenue.

As of 9 a.m. on Black Friday, the company recorded a 9.4 percent increase in e-commerce revenue and a 7.3 percent increase in e-commerce orders—strong growth, yet slightly lower than the holiday season to date (a 12.8 percent increase in revenue versus 2014), indicating a potential shift in shopping to later in the day.

The report revealed that on Thanksgiving mobile shopping was 39.3 percent of online shopping, up from about a third (34.3 percent) on Thanksgiving 2014.

"Year to date in 2015, mobile accounted for 28 percent of online shopping, which is a huge leap from just two years ago when only 12 percent of online purchases were made on mobile devices," Custora co-founder and CEO Corey Pierson told eWEEK. "On Thanksgiving day, the share jumped to almost 40 percent. There will come a time when the rate slows down and this number plateaus, but it doesn't look like it will be happening any time soon."

Apple is holding court as the king of mobile e-commerce, with 78.3 percent of mobile shopping on Thanksgiving Day done on iPhones and iPad devices. Android accounted for 21.5 percent of mobile online orders placed on Thanksgiving.

"Consumers have turned to iOS over Android for a while now, and there are a couple of possible reasons as to why that's the case: The first is demographics—Apple device owners might be more inclined to shopping than Android device owners," Pierson said. "The second is the devices themselves—Apple devices might be more shopping-friendly, with innovations such as Touch ID and Apple Pay."

He noted that this trend is gradually shifting though, with more and more purchases being made on Android devices over the past few years.

In 2015 to date, Android is at 22 percent of all mobile purchases, up from 20 percent last year. Apple is at 77 percent, down from 79 percent.

"The holiday shopping season is a more of a marathon than a sprint, but the early numbers indicate a strong start compared to last year," he said. "It’s likely this year-over-year growth will continue, which is good news for retailers." Pierson said another positive indicator is average order value (AOV), which is up slightly so far in the season, indicating the season so far has been less promotional than last year.