No Surprise: Thanksgiving Ecommerce Sales on the Rise



So far, this Cyber Weekend, there are no major ecommerce sales surprises. As predicted by several sources, consumers made online shopping just as much a part of Thanksgiving Day as parades, food, and football.

IBM says ecommerce sales for Thanksgiving were up 26% over the same day in 2014, with consumers spending $123.45 per order, according to its IBM Watson Trend app.

IBM says mobile traffic reached nearly 60% of all online traffic, an increase of 14.8% over 2014. Mobile sales also grew, with 40% of all online sales coming from mobile devices, an increase of 23.8% over Thanksgiving Day 2014.

Smartphones were the Thanksgiving shopper’s device of choice, accounting for 46.7% of all online traffic versus tablets at 13.7%, according to IBM. Smartphones also surpassed tablets in sales, driving 23.9% of online sales versus tablets at 16.1%.

However, personalization provider Monetate disputes IBM’s numbers. According to an email from Monetate’s public relations firm, Thanksgiving Day purchases were down (both online and off) as consumers “take advantage of the extended Cyber Month deal season rather than being confined to a single day.”

Data from Monetate is based on analysis of 34 million online shopping sessions in the U.S. across major retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy, QVC and Dick’s Sporting Goods. For background, Monetate data reflects 1 in every 3 dollars consumers spend online.

At 5 p.m. EST Thanksgiving Day, Adobe reported that more than $1 Billion had already been spent online, and its Adobe Digital Index projection for the full day would exceed $1.7 billion, with higher sales volume expected during in the evening (22% growth year-over-year).

As of 5 p.m., mobile devices drove $283 Million in sales (26% share – 15% smartphones, 11% tablets).

“New Black Friday promotions will hit in the evening hours driving the already record breaking average discount of 24% up even further,” said Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst, Adobe Digital Index. “Out of stock is an even bigger problem today than we expected, so shoppers waiting until tomorrow will find it more difficult than ever to acquire hot items.”

The Need for Speed

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Catchpoint Systems is monitoring the performance (load time and availability) of the home pages of its “Top 50 E-Commerce” website (desktop) and mobile sites, as well as native apps, in the US (based on the IR 500) from 23 locations across the United States at intervals of 5 minutes. Monitoring began on November 24, 2015 and will continue through the holidays.

Throughout Thanksgiving Day, all had gone well, with speed at fast or acceptable levels. However, Newegg’s site has slowed by three-fold in recent hours, and actually experienced an outage at 1:30 a.m. EST on Black Friday (as demonstrated by the graphic to the right).

The Top-5 fastest median load times belonged to Target, Walgreens, Amway, Apple, and Staples. The Top-5 fastest mobile median load times were achieved by Vistaprint, Rakuten, Amway, W.W. Grainger, and GAP.

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