Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Black Friday Stays Mobile

If you're anything like me, you have no interest in physically entering a store the day after Thanksgiving. I do, however, love to shop online in the comfort of my home. While many people start their holiday shopping on Black Friday, I go to my favorite online retailers a day or two early, add what I want to my shopping cart, and then wait for the 20% off discount to hit my email, so I can complete the purchase on my phone. Whether consumers were gift-buying or just waiting for sales, a lot of us were shopping on our phones on Black Friday.

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As you might imagine, this past weekend was a busy one for Akamai's retail customers and its employees, working all hours of the day and night to ensure peak performance. At the same time, Akamai studies the data from its retail customers from all over the world, examining trends to optimize our solutions. The one trend that jumped out at me was all about mobile. Back in 2018, 57.55% of shoppers during the same period were on mobile devices. This year we saw that number jump to a whopping 62.9%. Here's why I think that is:

  • EVERYONE has a mobile device. In some parts of the world, it's mobile-first or mobile-only. The US may have started Black Friday, but we've been seeing increases in online shopping all over the world on this shopping holiday.
  • Loyalty programs make it easy to buy on your phone. If you already have an account, all your information is saved and it's just a few clicks to buy.  You might even get free shipping for being loyal.
  • Etailers are getting much better at making mobile shopping easy and fast. The performance of an online retailer's web site or app has to be exceptional for shopping and purchasing goods. One key to that is optimizing images and videos. I want to see that sweater in every angle, in every color and I want to see that lipstick on a curly-headed brunette. And I want to see it quickly. I am an online consumer and my expectations are very high.

If you think you can improve your customer engagement by optimizing your online presence, reach out to us. We are happy to help.

Bonus: Did you ever wonder about the origins of Black Friday? Our friends at the Telegraph recently published this interesting article.

After evaluating the data of consumers for Cyber Monday, we noticed a unique trend with mobile traffic. In 2018, 37% of mobile conversions happened before 3 seconds, in 2019 that percentage increased to 51% before 3 seconds. Before 3 seconds! There is no denying that eTailers are making mobile purchasing easier and faster.

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