For Christmas shoppers, the years of spending December weekends desperately wandering through crowds in malls and merchant districts might be coming to a close.
In the last 10-15 years, holiday shopping has been going through a transition: from in-store purchasing to ecommerce, and within ecommerce, from desktop to mobile. More people are shopping from home, work, or for Americans, on the sly under the table at Thanksgiving dinner.
The 2014 shopping season confirmed the trend. Black Friday used to be the biggest shopping day of the year, but it’s been replaced by Cyber Monday. This year, in-store traffic and sales on Black Friday both fell. And mobile sales are up. Here’s a great chart from IBM Digital Analytics that clearly shows the increase over the last three years.
Cyber Monday 2014 was the biggest online shopping day of the season, with over $2 billion in desktop online sales. It was also the biggest US online spending day in history. Mobile sales accounted for 22% of the total, an increase of 27.6% over 2013. For the entire weekend, PayPal reported a 47% increase in global mobile payment volume.
Next year, I believe messaging apps will start to play a bigger role. Brands are increasingly engaging with consumers in BBM Channels and seeing fantastic results (as Qoo10 has), as well as advertising in BBM. Apps and mobile platforms are offering more one-click purchase options, as social and commerce continue to converge.