More than $4 billion of products were purchased via mobile devices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday according to Adobe and Recode. That’s a full third of the entire $12 billion in online purchases overall. Let that sink in–$4 billion in purchases from mobile devices in a 48 hour window. That’s $83 million in purchases per hour. From smartphones. That’s the equivalent of one brand new A320 purchased every hour–from a cell phone.
On the Rise
Forecasts call for continual increases in mobile purchases. More than 79% of all US consumers make purchases using their mobile devices. Plus, 20% of all millennials don’t even own a computer–they’re mobile only. The statement mobile first is already passé.
Econsultancy reports that more than 2 billion consumers will make a purchase using a mobile phone in 2017. That’s up by 400 million in just two years, or roughly 80 million more than the entire population of the United States.
Trends from China
China’s largest purchases day, Singles Day, saw $25B in purchases in 2017 on the “Amazon of Asia,” Alibaba, with 90% of those purchases coming from mobile. Trends that have come from China include digital wallets for purchases and sending money to friends, stickers (and emojis) that add color and fun to conversations, and “near me” features that have popped up on apps like Match. We’ll continue to see the mobile shopping and mobile-only trends continue to increase as consumers choose to splurge on $1,300 iPhone X’s instead of laptops and desktops.
With all the excitement from brands (hopefully) reporting great profits, the pains for mobile customers continue to be an issue. Google Trends shows that November 27th at 12PM EST was the highest search volume for customer service information.
The highest year over year jumps in searches for customer service were Gamestop, Best Buy, Adidas, Shutterfly and H&M. The highest overall volume searches were Amazon, Verizon, AT&T, Amazon (again), and Sprint. I can only imagine how many customers attempted to buy Amazon Echoes and iPhone X’s but abandoned because they had to contact customer support at some point and phone call was the default option.
What We’re Seeing
We’re biased in believing that offering a text messaging option would have lowered frustration and saved a ton of money. Or are we? One of our clients reported a nearly perfect NPS for text messaging over the cyber buying blitz, with another client reportedly saving a half million dollars in support costs from the time leading up to and just after their busiest times–mostly from phone call and web chat diversion.
Research from LivePerson showed a 188% increase in first-time messaging conversations. Twitter usage for customer service has dropped to the lowest preference for millennials at just 2% choosing the service–the other 98% give Twitter the bird. Data from a recent survey shows that 62% of millennials preferred texting as a top choice for customer service. Should we keep going? All of this data indicates that the key to a successful 2018 Black Friday/Cyber Monday requires text messaging as a customer channel.