The American consumer is alive and well but smartphone shoppers are the real break out story this holiday season.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s On The Move, Rob Garf, vice president of industry and strategy at Salesforce, said mobile and social shoppers were a huge driver of sales this year. “You know, the store is certainly not dead. But consumers are drawn to digital for the convenience, for the ease, the access. Really what's driving that is mobile in particular. We saw, actually, 56% of all orders on Black Friday coming from the mobile device.”
According to Salesforce, a whopping 76% of digital traffic during the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend came from mobile devices with 60% of Thanksgiving Day shopping executed on smartphones. And 9% of those orders placed came from products that were clicked or tapped from an algorithmic recommendation, proving that artificial intelligence is gaining traction in directing online traffic.
Smaller screens on smartphones didn’t seem to hinder shoppers who prefer the convenience of mobile browsing. “The phone is, to my opinion, the remote control of our daily lives. And it's no different this holiday season,” said Garf. “So, it's really the ease and the access that consumers have, particularly around Thanksgiving. We saw a 24% increase globally year-over-year in sales. And a lot of that is attributed to the mobile phone.”
Retailers have also stepped up their game and have reduced many of the problems customers faced when shopping on mobile phones. Savvy vendors have made it a lot easier to purchase on smartphones. “There was a lot of friction — let's just face it, it was really clunky to buy on your phone for a lot of time. And now retailers have really smoothed the friction between inspiration and purchase on the mobile device,” according to Garf.
Overall, Salesforce predicts Cyber Monday sales will hit $30 billion in revenue globally with $8 billion of that in the U.S. That’s up from last year’s data at $26 billion globally and $7 billion domestically.
Yvette Killian is a producer for Yahoo Finance’s On The Move.