The second Sunday in May is a special day for everyone because it's Mother's Day. It's also a special day for retailers, as it represents another peak period and serves as the halfway point between the prior year's Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) and the upcoming year's retail holidays. The retail spending during Mother's Day provides a pulse on how the spending will be during the major holidays at the end of the year. This year, it's predicted that retail spending during Mother's Day will exceed $23 billion. That's a big deal, because Mother's Day spending has, during the last 15 years, exceeded the $23 billion mark on just two occasions, and it sets the stage for bigger holidays later in the year.
Using our mPulse technology to capture real user data and correlate web and mobile performance to user behavior, we analyzed the data for Mother's Day and would like to share some key trends with you:
Mobile traffic is on the rise
We recently discussed how mobile devices not only played a pivotal role during last year's holiday season, but also accounted for a significant portion of traffic to the mPulse platform. So far, we have seen a similar trend in 2018; and, during the baseline month of March, mobile devices accounted for 49% of traffic to the platform (Desktop traffic was 41%). However, for the 10 days prior to Mother's Day, desktop traffic exceeded mobile traffic. It would be interesting to see whether this was an anomaly and whether mobile traffic would consistently surpass desktop traffic for the holidays later in the year.
Conversion rates were flat in the 10 days leading up to Mother's Day
During the 10 days leading up to Mother's Day, the conversion rate on desktops was comparable to the conversion rate during the baseline month of March. However, there was a decrease in mobile conversion rate during the same time frame. (Desktop conversion rate = 1.28; Mobile conversion rate = 1.13 ). It was interesting to note that these conversion rates were nowhere near the conversion rates that we saw during Black Friday (Desktop conversion rate = 3.33% and Mobile conversion rate = 1.83%). This could be due to the fact that Black Friday is one of the biggest retail holidays and has blockbuster sales that attract more buyers as compared to Mother's Day.
Slower connection speeds = Lower conversion rate
We also analyzed mobile traffic to determine the impact of connection speed. Traffic via cellular and cable+DSL accounts for majority of the mobile traffic. For example, during the baseline month of March, while 29% of mobile traffic was from cellular connections, 64% was from Cable+DSL connections; and this pattern was quite consistent during the days leading up to Mothers' day.
However, the conversion rate for cellular traffic was significantly lower than the conversion rate for Cable +DSL traffic. This implies that slower experiences lead to lower conversion rates and a corresponding decrease in revenue. It is likely that a significant portion of your mobile traffic will be over cellular for the upcoming holidays.So, you should leverage mobile performance solutions from Akamai to improve conversion rates and maximize revenue.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just 6 months away
It's May, which means there are just 6 months left until Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) 2018. The 2017 holiday season and the recent Mother's Day showed not only that holiday spending is on the rise, but also that retailers which optimized their apps, websites and infrastructure to provide engaging and differentiated digital experiences reaped huge rewards. If you haven't already done so, check out these resources on akamai.com/holidays to maximize revenue and engagement during the upcoming 2018 holiday season.