2017’s Thanksgiving week has come and gone, but not before bursting with record-breaking mobile moments each day! For the second year in a row, smartphone adoption has grown significantly, accounting for 46% of retail website’s traffic on Black Friday alone. On Cyber Monday, the mobile industry saw 40% year-over-year growth, hitting a record high of $2 billion in sales completed on a smartphone. Not to mention, just a few weeks ago 90% of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day orders were completed on mobile. According to App Annie, the mobile shopping explosion has a lot to do with apps — they predicted that Americans would spend nearly 45 million hours in Android apps alone during the week of Black Friday. And after combing through the numbers on our end, consumers held up their end of the mobile bargain!
Mobile Spending on the Rise
At Button, we operate exclusively in the mobile space, working with 9 of the 10 largest e-commerce retailers and many of the world’s largest mobile publishers and we’ve driven over a billion dollars in mobile commerce revenue, since launching our marketplace. Considering that the holiday period can account for up to 40% of retailer’s annual revenue, it is a time to prepare for and learn from. Button’s data confirmed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday industry data points — and one thing is clear: mobile apps are the 2017 commerce champion.
The reasons for mobile shopping app success are obvious: consumers love them! In a recent report, 2017 Index: The Mobile Consumer, we commissioned with App Annie, a majority of consumers stated they prefer shopping in apps compared to mobile web. It boils down to convenience, with 69% stating apps are easier to navigate, 61% preferring apps due to login details being saved/easier to enter, and 57% noted the faster load times.
A Surge in GMS (total purchase value)
The frenzied purchasing period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday proved 254% of comparable Button Marketplace history. And the key day-by-day breakdown was staggering.
Intent is high on mobile, and it is complemented by the great deals and incentives of the holiday purchase period — users are primed to purchase during this time, and our conversion metrics showed this to be true. From the Button Marketplace average, we saw conversion rates increase by:
Conversions trended upward at the start of the holidays, peaking at an all-time-high on Cyber Monday. This conversion rate uptick highlights very strong user intent during this prime shopping period.
How Did Apps Perform?
The holiday performance is even more impressive when you segment traffic by comparing in-app spend to mobile web spend. After digging through our data, we found that time spent in apps increased by 167% on Black Friday and peaked with a 194% uptick on Cyber Monday. App traffic and time spent wasn’t the only astonishing metric, as the positive behavior flowed through the entire funnel and led to increased app revenue per user: on Cyber Monday alone, average order value was 14% higher in app than mobile web.
App installs peaked on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday with significantly higher than average installs in the days in between. People likely spent their weekends deal hunting in the apps with the variety of offers being circulated.
Beyond app installs, in-app purchase conversion rates were even greater when comparing to mobile web. Apps typically convert far better than mobile web, and Thanksgiving Week was no exception — in-app purchase conversion rates skyrocketed:
The Category That Conquered
With this high volume of revenue and conversion, we looked into user spending behavior over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday period. It turns out, specific items are more prone to be purchased throughout Thanksgiving Week.
Electronic sales grew 2–3x the rate of all other product category purchases — and this spike wasn’t limited to just Black Friday and Cyber Monday: starting four days before Thanksgiving, we begin to see a noticeable lift in electronics. This purchase spike sustains through Cyber Monday, leaving merchants with over a week of increased buyer intent and revenue from the electronics category.
While electronics reigned supreme, we also saw a 150% spike in fresh food, a 116% increase in health and beauty, and a 92% jump in toy sales!
Lessons to be Learned: Making Your Marketing Work Year Round
For most retailers, Thanksgiving Week was an opportunity to generate more revenue than any other point of the year. But you can take it one step further — We help members of the Button Marketplace launch best-in-class marketing campaigns focused on driving app sales during these critical times. For the optimal results highlighted above, our partners launched integrated marketing campaigns.
Combining a timely holiday campaign with key messaging through channels like push notifications, featured placements in publisher apps, and email promotion are just a few of the pieces that we’ve seen work when optimizing mobile app marketing strategies. The most important optimization? Creating a seamless connection between two mobile brands, powered by Button, for the best path to conversion.
Was your mobile app strategy ready for the holidays this year? There’s always room for improvement! We’re here to get you started and ensure you don’t miss a mobile penny next Black Friday & Cyber Monday — or any other day of the year. Reach out to us or visit our website to learn how you can optimize your mobile marketing, partnerships, and sales strategy!
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Like what you read? Download Button and App Annie’s 2017 Index: The Mobile Consumer for even more mobile insights.