A Merry Mobile Friday: Phone Usage Rose To 70%, But Desktops Drove Conversions

Mobile was more widely used by shoppers on Black Friday. But desktops produced higher conversions and lower bounce rates, according to a study by Akamai. 

In an analysis of traffic on its own platform, Akamai reports that mobile usage rose from 64% to 70% year-over-year -- a finding almost identical to that of Salesforce. 

But desktop conversion rates leaped from 4.07% to 4.78% YoY. In contrast, mobile conversions rose from 1.99% to 2.41%.

Akamai notes that a shopper will typically receive an email, app notification or text message. And brands must be ready to bring that person to the digital storefront in that hybrid environment.  

Meanwhile, as traffic increased, bounce rates rose from 35% to 36% on mobile, but fell from 29% to 25% on desktops. 

“The fact that more conversions are driven from desktops underscores that while mobile is critical for driving awareness, the intricacies of converting shopping to purchase are still a challenge on a smaller form factor,” writes Akamai's Tara Bartley.



And whatever the source, retail website hits increased by more than 27% YoY on Black Friday, with the peak hourly hits jumping by more than 28%. 

But here’s the rub: that “many retailers, including Home Depot, announced their Black Friday deals would be spread out over two months instead of kicking off on Black Friday," Bartley adds. 

In a separate report, Emarsys found that brands sent over 86 million push notifications via mobile apps over its platform, 90% more than last year, and 834 million emails a  21% increase. 

In addition, digital campaign triggers based on customer behavior jumped by 177% to 189 million. Also segment executions were up to by 29% to 14.6 million.

Finally, for the overall scorecard, Salesforce projects that global online sales will grow by 25% to $46 billion on Cyber Monday, including an 18% hike to $11.8 billion in the U.S.

Digital traffic grew by only 7% worldwide on Thanksgiving and 12% in the U.S. YoY — lower than expected. 

But it snapped back on Black Friday, increasing by 17% on Friday globally and 28% on Saturday. U.S. traffic shot up by 22% on Friday and 28% on Saturday. 

By the Salesforce calculation, mobile comprised 71% of traffic and 56% of orders, and desktop saw 26% of traffic and 41% of orders YoY globally on Black Friday. 

The average order value was $105 across all devices globally and $106 in the U.S. — essentially flat from 2019, Salesforce adds. 



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