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Black Friday ecommerce: Average sale value drops 4.6%, total sales increases 20%

December 3, 2012

IBM released a great report the other day into the performance of online Black Friday sales in the US.

You can see the report for yourself here, but I’ve compiled a few highlights:

Mobile shopping:

Mobile commerce for Black Friday accounted for 14% of traffic to retailer sites in 2011. This jumped to 24% this time around, a leap of 67%. Sales via a mobile device accounted for 16% of activity on the day.

iPads dominated tablet shopping, accounting for 88% of all tablets used to access retailer sties during the sale.  Surprisingly, The Galaxy Tab was only 1.8% of tablet traffic.


mcommerce sales & traffic Black Friday 2012

mcommerce sales & traffic Black Friday 2012

‘Social Media Sentiment’:

While I’m still sceptical at times of sentiment analysis taken from social media listening tools, they are usually handy as a general guide to sentiment – in this case, IBM identified that positive sentiment regarding the Black Friday outweighed negative by a factor of 3 to 1 – not bad in my opinion.

The IBM analysis unfortunately is dependant on measuring traffic from social media in terms of upstream traffic – ie was something on a social media channel the link that was clicked on, which then resulted in a sale. While there can be no doubt about the hype for the event that was created on social media platforms, it’s safe to say that it wasn’t the direct referral traffic that traffic analysts would have been looking for.


Sales attributed to social media Black Friday 2012

Sales attributed to social media Black Friday 2012

Average expenditure:

While the average number of items per order and the average sale value were both down, by 12.7% and 4.7% respectively (average purchase in 2012 was US$181), total sales for Black Friday jumped by 20% year on year, indicating a growing volume of consumers accessing online sales. And, if you’re familiar with the annual rough & tumble in store debacle that happens on Black Friday in the US – then who wouldn’t want stay at home and access all the great deals from there?

Black Friday ecommerce sales

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