Online sales in the US were up 16.1% on Black Friday 2015 compared to the Black Friday rush of last year, thanks to email marketing and mobile shopping, according to a Nov. 28 report from Custora E-Commerce Pulse, which tracks data from online retailers and 500 million anonymous shoppers.
Mobile shopping -- e-commerce orders made on mobile phones and tablets -- accounted for 36.1% of online shopping on Black Friday 2015. That's a significant jump from the 30.3% of online orders recorded on Black Friday of 2014.
Consumers who shopped on mobile devices were most likely to do so on Apple devices, which accounted for more than three-quarters (77.6%) of all orders made on mobile devices.
This compares with just 22.1% of purchases made on Google Android devices. However, the report points out that the silver lining for Android devices is there was a slight increase from last year, when Android devices accounted for 19.5% of orders.
Email marketing drove the most online sales on Black Friday. While usually lagging behind online search (free and paid), email marketing was the primary channel for shoppers this year, driving a quarter of all orders.
Beyond email, 21.1% of sales originated through free search, and 16.3% through paid search. However, social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, drove just 1.7% of sales.
Looking ahead to Cyber Monday, ShopRunner, a members-only online shopping service, predicted that 85% of its members intend to shop on Cyber Monday, which will overshadow both Black Friday and Thanksgiving this year.
The ShopRunner survey, which fielded responses from more than 2,500 members, found nearly a quarter (24%) of its customers plan to shop on mobile devices on Cyber Monday.
In an interview Sunday, Nov. 29, Custora CEO Corey Pierson agreed with those predictions.
"As online revenue continues to climb each year, Cyber Monday is likely to become more important for businesses looking to cash in on the holiday shopping craze," Pierson told InformationWeek. "Smart retailers know that the holiday season extends beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Although these blockbuster days are important, retailers looking to make the most of the season will still have to focus on other big online shoppings, such as the Mondays following Cyber Monday."
Regardless of how consumers plan to shop, retailers are already laying out their plans for the online shopping day, with Wal-Mart's Cyber Monday savings available to customers starting Sunday evening.
As part of its Cyber Monday promotions, the Wal-Mart is offering a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for $599 -- a $200 savings -- as well as a LG 65-inch 4K Ultra HDTV for $799, a whopping $500 discount.
Walmart is also offering free shipping to consumers' homes on orders of $50 or more.
Target announced its most ambitious Cyber Week promotion ever, which includes 15% off virtual every item on the company's website on Cyber Monday.
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In addition to the discount, Target shoppers will have access to nearly 75 special deals, of which almost three quarters will be more than 50% off for one day only.
One deal the company highlighted was an Xbox One 500GB Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle for $299.99, which includes a free EA sports game and free 3-month Xbox Live subscription with purchase.
Big box retailer Best Buy was less specific about its Cyber Monday deals but confirmed that it is planning to offer discounts on a variety of items in-store and online with free shipping on every purchase.
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