What percent of online sales on Black Friday do you think came from Twitter referrals?
How about Facebook?
While you’re pondering those questions, here are some other factoids from a report on Black Friday online sales by IBM:
- The average Black Friday online shopper bought 5.6 items per order. That’s down 13% from last year. It’s also down 40% from Friday, November 16th, a week earlier. Hard to know what to make of that.
- The average shopping “session” length was 6 minutes and 39 seconds. That’s down about 10% from last year. Compare that to the average hellish shopping session in a physical store, and you’ll see why ecommerce is continuing to grow as a percent over overall retail sales.
- The “conversion rate” of online shoppers–the percentage of those who visited the site who actually bought something–was 4.58%. That’s up 9% from last year.
- Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) accounted for 16% of sales. That’s up from 10% last year.
- Mobile devices accounted for 24% of site traffic. That’s up from 14% last year.
- iPads accounted for 10% of site traffic, up from 5% last year.
- iPhones accounted for 9% of site traffic, up from 5% last year.
- Android phones and tablets accounted for 5.5% of site traffic, up from 4% last year.
The key observations here would seem to be:
- Mobile is ! continui ng to grow rapidly as a percentage of traffic and sales, but it’s not taking over by any means. 6 years into the smartphone era, with smartphones now accounting for more than 55% of U.S. handsets, traffic to mobile sites (including traffic from tablets) is still less than 25% of overall traffic.
- Apple devices continue to crush Android devices in terms of commerce engagement. Android users just don’t seem to do all that much with their gadgets.
And now to social referrals…
It wasn’t long ago that many people were arguing that Facebook was eventually going to be bigger than Google. Word of mouth, after all, is the most powerful form of marketing known to man. And people lived on Facebook, so they would soon be shopping on Facebook. And so forth.
Well, so far, anyway, that ain’t happening.
- Only 0.68% of Black Friday online sales came from Facebook referrals–two-thirds of one percent. That was a decline of 1% from last year.
And how about Twitter?
A couple of years ago, people were excited about Twitter’s potential as a commerce platform, too.
But Twitter’s impact on ecommerce, it seems, is zero.
Not “basically zero.”
- Commerce site traffic from Twitter accounted for exactly 0.00% of Black Friday traffic. That was down from 0.02% last year.
So much for the idea that Twitter or Facebook’s business models are going to have much to do with commerce.
Fast-fashion retailer Zara is on a mission to take over the world, and in the process it has changed the whole fabric of the industry.
Zara’s strategy involves stocking very little and updating collections often. Instead of other brands that only update once a season, Zara restocks with new designs twice a week, reported Suzy Hansen at the New York Times.
That strategy works two ways, according to Hansen. First, it encourages customers to come back to the store often. It also means that if the shopper wants to buy something, he or she feels that they have to in order to guarantee it won’t sell out.
As a result of its massive success, Zara is making luxury retailers pretty nervous. Zara tries to build their stores as close as possible to the luxury boutiques like Stella McCartney and Chanel. Meanwhile, those retailers are trying to stay far away from the fast-fashion company.
“They broke up a century-old biannual cycle of fashion,” an analyst told Hansen. “Now, pretty much half of the high-end fashion companies” — Prada and Louis Vuitton, for example — “make four to six collections instead of two each year. That’s absolutely because of Zara.”
Another important way that Zara has impacted the fashion is by negating the idea that expensive clothes are more desirable. Kate Middleton has often been photographed in the brand, and getting something chic for a steal is something to brag about.
Zara also fits in with another trend: today’s demanding consumer.
Now that shoppers can get what they want from virtually any channel for a variety of prices, they’re becoming much more discerning about what they want.
That means that a company that sells high fashion for low prices and offers constant new merchandise is set to do well in today’s marketplace, and other retailers should be rushing to emulate Zara’s model.
Online advertising company Permuto pulled data from the U.S. Census Bureau into a nice infographic comparing people’s purchasing habits in-store vs. online, and it got us wondering: What do you buy online vs. in stores?
(Click the image above for a closer look.)
According to the Census Bureau’s data, the old brick and mortar stores are still responsible for the majority of sales in most of the categories, save for a few notable categories, including books, clothing, and electronics. Since Lifehacker readers are a more tech-savvy crowd than most of the public, we’d guess you tend more toward the buy online crowd. Are you more of a virtual shopper, or do you still prefer to touch and feel before you buy? It certainly varies depending on what you’re buying, so tell us about it in the comments.
I don’t understand Google Shopper. Not because the function—searching for books, CDs, DVDs and more by using the cover art or barcode—is confusing. But because they already have a visual search app built into new Android phones, Goggles.
Goggles does the same thing: You take a picture of something, like a book cover, and it searches for it. I get that Shopper is slightly different, with more of a direct Amazon-competitive slant, since you can bookmark products to buy them later (presumably through Google Checkout).
But why not just integrate that into Goggles? Why the hell does this separate other product exist? Like Fake Steve says, WTF is going on over there? Android and Chrome OS? Wave and Buzz? (Okay, Buzz and Wave aren’t an entirely fair comparison, though try explaining them to a normal person.) Now Goggles and Shopper? Am I just missing something? [Google]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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