Holiday Analysis: Checkout Lines Abandoned for Online Purchases

checkout abandonment


checkout abandonmentCheckouts abandoned, carts converted, and sales records shattered. The Black Friday through Cyber Monday consumer marathon has come to a close and merchants can finally take a (short) breather to gather their wits. Although some early reports say that brick-and-mortar visits decreased compared to last year, ecommerce had a fantastic weekend and UpSellit broke its personal record for total abandoned conversions recovered in one day. Today, we’re going to deconstruct the numbers from the holiday shopping spree and analyze some groundbreaking trends.

Much of today’s data comes from IBM’s robust reports that give a great look into the Holiday Weekend statistics.

Early Thanksgiving Sales Hurt Black Friday

checkout linesAs predicted, the three major shopping days, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, brought in record-breaking numbers. The days had year-over-year sales increases of 14.3%, 9.48%, and 8.5% respectively, leaving the records set last year in the dust. More and more, consumers are abandoning physical checkout lines for online checkout forms.

Black Friday didn’t quite live up to the early hype and many analysts blame an increased emphasis on Thanksgiving Day sales as the cause. While the feast-filled Thursday is becoming a significant day for deals, Black Friday is still miles ahead, accounting for 63.47% more sales.


Site Abandonment on Cyber Monday Dipped to 94.6%

Cyber Monday was the highest performing day of the weekend with the most active carts (15.05%), the highest conversion rates (5.15%), and the lowest bounce rates (30.84%). While the sales were certainly backed by a bevy of unbeatable deals, the nature of the day is partly responsible for the great metrics.

On Black Friday, shoppers don’t have the same sense of urgency as they know that the Cyber Monday finale is just around the corner.


Checking Out with the Mobile Masses

For the past few years, the trend that’s caught everybody’s eye is the growth of mobile device usage in the ecommerce sphere. Every blog (including our own) has warned merchants about the dangers of ignoring the rise of mcommerce, but this weekend brought irrefutable proof.

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, desktop sales were down 7.82% and 5.74%, respectively. However, as mentioned earlier, these days were record-shattering. How?

Mobile shoppers showed up en masse.

More than making up for the losses in desktop sales numbers, conversions from mobile devices were up 28.20% and 27.60% on Friday and Monday. While these numbers are big news for merchants, they’re not quite as groundbreaking as Thanksgiving’s bounty.

This Thanksgiving, mobile devices accounted for more website traffic than their desktop counterparts for the first time ever. With 52.11% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, this holiday weekend rewarded companies ready for smartphones and tablets and punished those who weren’t.

However, there’s no amount of mobile hype great enough to mean you should abandon your desktop shoppers. Although they’re visiting more often, mobile shoppers aren’t quite as profitable per user. Across all three big days, mobile conversion rates were half as high as desktop users’. Despite mobile users accounting for over half website traffic, they only accounted for 32.33% of sales. Additionally, average order values from smartphones and tablets were roughly 15% lower.


The Big Apple

That being said, iOS users greatly out-shopped Android users and established the segment as a very profitable target for retailers. On Black Friday, for example, iPhones and iPads accounted for 34.19% of all ecommerce traffic and almost 21.88% of all sales, while Android devices accounted for 15% of traffic and 5.77% of sales.

Although higher bounce, cart abandonment, and checkout abandonment rates make mobile shoppers less efficient buyers than their desktop computers, the sheer volume of mobile shoppers has long since reached the point of relevance. It’s more important than ever to account for these visitors, especially those on iOS devices.


Smartphone Abandonment and Tablet Conversions

One particularly peculiar metric from this holiday weekend comes from comparing traffic sources to conversion sources. On Black Friday, 34.7% of all traffic came from smartphones and tablets accounted for 14.6% of visitors. However, smartphones accounted for 16% of conversions while 11.8% were completed on tablets.

Mobile Device Comparison
From these numbers, we can deduce that smartphone users are more often browsers without intent to purchase, while visitors on tablets are more often ready make a purchase. Although both are classified as mobile devices, smartphones are much more often a daily companion. It’s very possible that smartphones have a lower sales-to-traffic ratio because they’re used for on-the-go research, while the tablet sees the start and finish of a purchase.

Although few merchants are surprised at this year’s increased mobile performance, there’s simply no denying how important it is to cater to the mobile segment. The mobile masses are here and data from the year’s most profitable weekend supports that theory. To learn more about checkout abandonment or how to prepare for the growing mobile segment, contact UpSellit.

Written by Joe Rosenthal

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