Mobile Dominance: Smartphones Generate 61% Of Black Friday E-Commerce Traffic

Black Friday online sales reached a record $7.4 billion, up 19.6% from 2018, with the average order value (AOV) rising 5.9% to $168, according to data from Adobe Analytics. The shopping holiday was mobile’s biggest day ever, with 41.2% of sales coming from smartphones alone, an increase of 22.2% over 2018.

Smartphones accounted for 61% of all online traffic, and e-Commerce giants with more than $1 billion in yearly revenue were the biggest beneficiaries of this trend. These retailers saw 11% higher smartphone revenue than companies with less than $50 million in annual revenue, and they were 66% more efficient at converting smartphone visits into sales. In general, e-Commerce has seen a 62% increase in holiday sales thus far in 2019.

Small retailers did have their own successes: smaller companies saw their revenue nearly quadruple compared to the average day in October, and they proved 13% better at getting shoppers to add items to their carts on mobile and 51% better on desktop computers. However, large retailers were 60% better at driving actual conversions on desktop.

Omnichannel Keeps Brick-and-Mortar Relevant

Brick-and-mortar stores weren’t left out either, due in part to massive growth in buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) options. Use of these services was up 43.2% year-over-year on Black Friday, 46.6% on Small Business Saturday and 41% overall season-to-date. The importance of merging online and brick-and-mortar operations was reflected in data from ICSC, which found that 78% of purchases were made at omnichannel retailers.


“The holiday season is officially underway, and top performing retailers will be those connecting with consumers through both physical and digital channels,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC in a statement. “Retailers view Black Friday and Cyber Monday as mutually reinforcing events, leveraging their omnichannel assets to deliver value and experience. Holiday shoppers want convenience, attractive deals and festivity; omnichannel is the most effective way for retailers to check all three boxes.”

A Strong Season Bodes Well For Cyber Monday

While Black Friday weekend gets the most attention, every day in November topped $1 billion in sales this year, and 12 days reached $2 billion, according to Adobe. Thanksgiving Day itself hit a record $2.1 billion, topping the $2 billion mark for the first time on 20% sales growth compared to Thanksgiving Day 2018. The holiday helped drive the rise of mobile shopping, as one out of five shoppers said they planned to shop on their smartphones so their friends and family wouldn’t notice.

Looking forward, retailers also have high expectations for Cyber Monday: the shopping holiday hit $7.9 billion in sales last year, setting the all-time single day sales record, and retailers are on pace to surpass that milestone. Cyber Monday had already hit $473 million in online sales as of 9 a.m. ET, which put it on track to blow past the previous record with $9.4 billion in total sales, which would represent 18.9% growth.

The “golden hours of retail” will be between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET, and they are expected to create $2.8 billion in sales, or 30% of the day’s revenue, as shoppers flock to last-minute deals. Some of the top items include Frozen 2 and Paw Patrol toys, L.O.L Surprise Dolls, the Madden 20 and FIFA 20 video games, the Nintendo Switch and electronics such as Samsung TVs, Apple laptops and Amazon Echo.     

A total of $72.1 billion has been spent online since Nov. 1, putting growth at 16.3% year-over-year, according to Adobe Analytics. Retailers are on track to hit a record $143.7 billion in e-Commerce sales for the season.

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