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It Wasn’t “Black Friday.” It Was “Mobile Friday.”

It Wasn't Black Friday. It Was Mobile Friday.

Interesting data from Monetate (and reported by Marketing Charts) out this week says that mobile traffic to e-commerce sites represented about 25% of all traffic in Q3, up from about 18% year-over-year. Cool, right? Well, brace yourselves. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Because as it turns out, it wasn’t just Black Friday last week. It was “mobile Friday.”

Why’s that? Well, the very latest data from Adobe and reported by showed that mobile represented over 55% of visits on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Um… that’s huge. Now, Adobe lumps tablets and phones together within mobile (not the best way to look at it since mobile and tablet really tend to be two very different customer experiences), but the breakout for just phones shows that most of it was on phones—some 75% of that 55%+, or about 44% overall.

Even better, sales on mobile devices (just phones, not tablets), topped half a billion dollars in just those two days, or about a quarter of actual sales. That’s, um… huge-r. And, remember, we’ve still got Cyber Monday to look forward to.

Now, to be fair, someone’s going to point out that e-commerce and mobile won’t save retail. Actually, probably more than just one. And that’s more than fair, because retail faces a number of systemic issues (well beyond the scope of today’s post, but one we’ll look at in more detail in the future). But, here’s the thing: Without mobile and e-commerce, your numbers would be much, much worse.

Yes, you want to do more than just fight for a piece of a rapidly-shrinking pie. But that doesn’t mean you should just give up on that piece while you’re working on growing the pie overall.

It’s not just that mobile’s going to be huge; it is huge. So, what do you do about it for your business?

Well here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. You’ve got to remember that, despite all the data that shows mobile’s importance (and, clearly, it’s incredibly important), it’s not mobile-first, it’s customer first that matters
  2. Given that, focus on the necessary steps to create a customer for your business
  3. Remember to integrate your customer experiences since, when it comes to e-commerce vs. store, it’s not either/or
  4. Use social appropriately to connect with your customers
  5. Test and test and test and test. Learn how to fail and how to learn from those tests to improve your customers’ experience

The simple fact is that mobile commerce is here to stay. It’s not “the future.” It’s here, today, right now. And it’s time to get going. Don’t worry about Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, or Small Business Saturday. Worry about mobile Friday. And every other day of the week too.

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out this round-up of posts about “Google, Mobile, E-commerce. What More Could You Want?” these “6 Must-See Mobile Commerce Messages for You,” this set of “9 Nifty November Mobile Commerce Insights” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, plus these “7 Special E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Trending Topics: The Top Posts of September, 2015.”

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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