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Mobile holiday spending was over 120 per cent higher than rest of year in 2018 - report

Alyssa Clementi

eCommerce mCommerce mobile retailThe holiday season in 2018 saw shoppers browse and spend 121 per cent more on mobile than the average mobile shopper prior to the holidays, according to a report from mobile commerce partnership platform Button.

Button tracked mobile shopping within the Button Marketplace, which includes partnerships with companies like Amazon, Walmart, Uber, Hotels.com, eBay, and Boxed. The Button Marketplace has seen more than $1bn in sales and is home to nine out of the top 10 retailers, as listed by Forbes.

To accurately track holiday season traffic and spending, Button analyzed millions of transactions within its marketplace that were completed between November 1, 2018 and January 6, 2019. It found that the uplift in user spend began around the same time that the first holiday deals were being advertised, leading Button to conclude incentives can be a ‘powerful purchase trigger’.

Compared to the 2018 daily averages, Button saw a 61 per cent increase in users browsing on mobile, a 108 per cent rise in app installs, and a 106 per cent higher volume of mobile orders. Mobile shoppers seemed to be the most responsive to Thanksgiving deals, as it was one of the top selling days of the holiday season. Additionally, Cyber Week purchases rose in the early mornings and late nights, leading to the biggest purchase volume of the holiday season.

Button also kept track of the top five selling categories of the 2018 holiday season, which were electronics, toys, home supplies, sports and outdoors, and clothing and fashion. AirPods, the Air Fryer Oven, and Xbox Live Memberships were some of the top selling items across multiple major shopping days, including Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

On a daily basis, consumers in the Button Marketplace complete more transactions in-app than on mobile websites, but this continued to increase during the holiday season. Button saw a 14 per cent higher conversion rate in-app than mobile web, a 117 per cent increase in revenue per tap in-app than mobile web, and 108 per cent more orders per purchaser in-app than mobile web.

The mobile commerce report goes on to highlight the importance of power users, or shoppers who make repeat purchases within a certain number of days. According to Button, 33 per cent of users acquired during Cyber Week came back to the Button Marketplace and made another purchase within 45 days. On average, power users accounted for six or more purchases during the holiday season, compared to the 2 or more purchases completed by a regular user.

Button concluded that key factors such as incentives, power users, and better app performance created a 55 per cent year-over-year revenue from mobile increase. In total, sales from the 2018 holiday season were higher than $38bn.

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