Phones Drive Weekend Activity, But Not Dollars

Heading into the CyberMonday stretch of retail’s long holiday weekend, online consumer activity proceeds on forecast with sales increases in the high teens. Mobile continued to play a larger role in purchases, though conversion rates and dollar totals remained higher on desktops and tablets, according to e-commerce observers.

Thanksgiving was far and away the sales velocity leader, posting same-store sales increases of 43.4% over 2014, according to ChannelAdvisor, an optimization platform for third-party online sellers. Comp sales, which the company bases on volume, increased 20.3% on Friday, 16.9% on Saturday, and 15.9% on Sunday.

Online dollar sales for the weekend were up 25.5%, with Black Friday posting a 21.5% increase, according to IBM commerce. Total orders rose 15.6% and revenue increased 16.1% on Friday, according to predictive marketing software provider Custora, which noted that email was driving 25% of all online transactions, the marketing channel leader.

Smartphones produced 44% of all online traffic over the weekend, compared to just 14% for tablets, IBM reports. Conventional mobile wisdom saying people shop on phones but buy on tablets was overturned. Phones transactions shot up 66% over 2014, logging 18.6% of online sales and surpassing tablets (17.7%) for the first time.

Still, PCs and tablets remained the most potent drivers of dollars. With an average order value of $141, tablets surpassed both desktops ($138) and phones ($111) over the weekend, according to IBM. Personalization engine Monetate tallied an identical $141 for PCs, but still had them leading the money board over tablets ($131) and smartphones ($112).

Phones continued to trail far behind larger machines in conversion, posting a rate of about 1.7% on Saturday and Sunday compared to 5.8% for PCs and 3.2% for tablets.

Google Shopping scored big on Black Friday with a same-store sales boost of 36% over 2014, according to ChannelAdvisor. Amazon posted a 29% gain on Friday and held 20% above 2014 levels through Sunday. Amazon, too, rang the jingle bells loudest in inboxes, accounting for a quarter of all CyberMonday-themed emails with read rates exceeding 20%, according to eDataSource.

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