Mobile customer engagement service Mobify is projecting that 2017 is the year that people will spend more money on mobile platforms than traditional desktop computers on Black Friday. While mobile website traffic surpassed its desktop counterpart on Black Friday back in 2015, people were more likely to complete purchases on a traditional computer then. This year, Black Friday could easily top the $3.34 billion in sales from 2016 because of mobile growth, leaving you to question whether your is business ready or not.
Black Friday 2017: Making Mobile Web a Priority is Changing the Game
The industry has made mobile website performance a priority, which means slow-loading and poorly designed websites that detoured people from completing a purchase aren’t so much of an issue anymore. The widely embraced “mobile-first” web design philosophy has created online storefronts that work nearly as well–if not just as well–as the robust experiences customers expect from traditional computers.
Since potential customers can access mobile websites and applications from anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi signal, the pool of people who could be accessing your company’s web platforms at any given time has significantly grown. This means that using tools like load testing and monitoring to ensure that your business’s web platforms can handle the increased traffic load on Black Friday are more important than ever. An offline website or application will push customers who are eager to purchase to their competitors, which equals lost revenue for your business. For instance, consider one of the biggest department stores: in 2016, Macy’s web platforms were overloaded on Black Friday and the retailer missed out on sales.
Customers are More Comfortable with Mobile Devices
The sales shift could be caused by something as simple as device exposure. Overall, customers are more comfortable with shopping on the mobile web because of better-designed user experiences on web platforms, bigger screens on devices, and faster web access. The shift in customer device comfort has been a long time coming. In 2016, traditional computers accounted for 45 percent of site visits, but 64 percent of sales.
Better Cellular Data Access Makes Shopping Online and at a Physical Store a Shared Experience
According to CNBC, much of the overall sales growth on Black Friday is coming from the online divisions of brick and mortar retailers. Interestingly, the people who are physically shopping at actual stores are simultaneously shopping online. It really comes as no surprise, then, that smartphone market penetration in the U.S. has surpassed 80 percent as of December 2016.
Stores have long expressed concerns over customers using smartphones while shopping inside as a showroom to shop online at competitors in order to compare. However, the online and offline dual-avenue customers could very well be buying products online from the stores they are visiting for reasons such as not wanting to carry the products around or they may be deterred from waiting in long lines. According to Fortune, retailers are now realizing that customers do not view a business’s physical and online storefronts as different entities.
Is your business website ready for Black Friday? Check out our infographic for a deeper look into how your platform load times impact sales. Contact us today to learn more about how Apica can help your business keep its web platforms running smoothly to encourage higher conversion rates.