One thing this Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday cycles was missing was more stats on e-commerce and m-commerce. But it is worth highlighting PayPal’s announcements regarding the big spike in m-payment activity over last year. The eBay-owned virtual payments service has been aggressive in rolling out mobilized solutions this year, both for mobile sites and at retail. Yesterday they said that Cyber Monday m-payments were up 195% over last year. This comes after PayPal reported that Thanksgiving Day itself saw a 173% increase in its m-payments and Black Friday was up 193%.
Parent company eBay saw its mobile transactions rise 133% on Thanksgiving and 153% on Black Friday over the same days last year.
Understanding the actual use cases and patterns from this torrent of statistics and triple-digit growth metrics from the last few days will be critical to making something of the numbers. PayPal’s stats, for instance, would become all the more interesting if broken down by type, whether it was activating a payment at retail or for an online source. Whether people are starting to use their devices as buy buttons for engagements with products they are having on other screens or in-store is a difference with a distinction.
To be sure, all of this suggests a heightened confidence in the mobile payment and m-commerce infrastructure, one that only grows with use. I would like to see how m-payments evolve in relation to other screens in particular. Presumably Cyber Monday shoppers have other screens available to them in the source of e-shopping, so why choose mobile to complete the transaction? Is the phone now being used in tandem with other screens, as an endpoint for experiences that start elsewhere? If, for instance, the mobile phone actually evolved into the most trusted and convenient payment mechanism (not a stretch by any means), then marketers could begin positioning and designing for it as a buy button to be aimed at other advertising collateral.