How will surging Mobile Black Friday sales affect the holiday?
The most notorious shopping day of the year is knocking at your door, but a growing trend appears ready to change how people approach it. Mobile Black Friday shopping is predicted to surge into uncharted territory this year, according to research by M-Connect Media. Online sales in general are expected to grow by more than 13 percent compared to 2015, with Americans alone harboring the potential to spend $1.876 billion.
When it comes to these online sales, consumers are increasingly relying on smartphones and tablets to the tune of $600 million in projected sales. With movement clearly trending away from brick-and-mortar stores and into more convenient online sales, what does the future hold for Black Friday?
An evolution in the relationship between technology and sales
Looking back on the history of Black Friday shopping, it’s important to realize that its history predates many modern shopping methods. Back then, there simply were no opportunities to shop from the comfort of your living room or with the mobility of a smartphone. Instead, shoppers and the stores they patronized were bound by the logistics of operating hours. Stores had to be stocked, positions had to be staffed and ads had to be distributed through more traditional channels.
Moving beyond Cyber Monday
As early internet access grew in corporate settings, the birth of Cyber Monday offered an alternative, according to CBS News. People could skip Black Friday’s long lines and unruly crowds and get straight to the good stuff while sitting at their desks on Monday morning. Retailers were perfectly happy with this arrangement, as it gave them an opportunity to stretch out the profit surge brought on by highly anticipated holiday sales.
With the advent of mobile shopping, this idea could stretch even further. The result is a market in which 56.1 percent of Black Friday sales came from online storefronts in 2015. Of that, 36.2 percent originated from mobile devices.
Mobile devices as a sales point aren’t the only factor influencing Black Friday, either. Retailers are becoming increasingly clever with their use of mobile social media to motivate users during sales periods. Also, without the need to plan additional store hours, companies can pick any starting point and ending point they desire when it comes to the Black Friday madness. For example, Wal-Mart is opening its online shopping doors the day before Black Friday this year to encourage early sales.
So, how will a mobile Black Friday differ from the tradition you’ve come to know and love (or hate)? As it turns out, the change will likely manifest more in the ways people interact with retailers rather than actually altering the face of the shopping holiday. As retailers are ultimately motivated by profits, continued innovation in mobile marketing will undoubtedly emerge as these companies seek to leverage the growing popularity of mobile as a shopping platform.