Amazon is calling the stretch from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday the “Turkey 5” and while the digital rush is proving to be a bonanza for mobile, the broader online race into the holiday season is starting a little slower than some expected.
Adobe said Thanksgiving Day brought in $1.15 billion in total online sales. And while that was a 13.6 increase from a year earlier, it was not the $2 billion that was predicted.
Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director of Adobe Digital Insights, said that larger pricing decreases in key categories such as tablets and toys likely affected the numbers, and that heavy discounting in the early hours of Thanksgiving Day slowed revenue growth.
But Adobe found that but conversions on smartphones increased later in the day and the race was in full force for Black Friday.
By mid-morning on Nov. 25, Amazon said mobile orders for the day had already surpassed the number of mobile orders on both Thanksgiving Day and on Cyber Monday in 2015.
Amazon is promoting multiple mobile deals throughout the period, with alerts to app users and special “Prime Now” deals, which offer one-hour shipping on more than 100 items in 30 cities.
And Amazon isn’t the only one making mobile headway. Adobe and found that $449 million in revenue came from smartphones and tablets on Thanksgiving Day. This is up 58.6 percent from last year, leaving $702 million from desktop computers.
Adobe said the average order value on Apple devices was $144, while the AOV on Android devices was $119.
By midday on Nov. 25, 70 percent of walmart.com’s traffic during the company’s Black Friday event was driven by mobile, while 60 percent of orders came from mobile devices.
Thanksgiving has become the day in which consumers “shop on the sly,” said Adobe’s Gaffney, adding that nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they use mobile devices so they aren’t obviously browsing to friends and family at the dinner table.
EBay said its mobile gross merchandise bought, or GMB, share on Thanksgiving Day increased to 38 percent, compared with desktop in 2016, which is up from 35 percent in 2015). EBay reported that 6 to 7 p.m. PT was the peak shopping mobile shopping hour on Thanksgiving Day.
The top-five selling fashion items on eBay, by units sold were: men’s cologne (Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Nautica Blue or Nautica Classic and Eternity by Calvin Klein), a Vera Bradley Factory Exclusive duffel bag and a Black Rivet men’s hooded leather cycle jacket.
In general, online sales seems to be running smoothly.
“Out of stock” messages in general were lower than the 11 percent seen at the same time in 2015, according to Adobe, which could be a result of the five-day digital shopping push to kick off the holiday season.
“In previous years, companies have struggled to deal with the quantity of orders in the festive period,” said Beth Pickens, managing director, global consumer and luxury at William Blair. “Earlier periods of Christmas discounting have led to consumers doing their Christmas shopping as early as October, allowing retailers to spread deliveries and boosting the effectiveness of their stock warehouses. Retailers who can manage their fulfillment functions most effectively will be the winners this Christmas, and will be in a strong position to capitalize on the shift on consumer demand in the future.”
Shoppers were getting to their holiday deals through multiple paths.
Search ads drove one-third of retailer traffic, with shopper helper sites driving 20 percent, followed by e-mail, at just more than 20 percent, according to Adobe. Display ads and social traffic drove just more than 2 percent and 1 percent of retailer traffic.
Affiliate marketing company RewardStyle’s Liketoknow.it service has begun using a new tailored e-mail product that sends customized content to subscribers. In addition, chief executive officer Amber Venz-Box said influencers have focused on creating more content, and more targeted content, geared toward the period.
She said RewardStyle data indicated that even by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day, retail traffic levels had already doubled from average levels.
Retailers seeing the biggest surge compared to RewardStyle average days were Nordstrom, Wayfair, Net-a-porter, Shopbop and Amazon.