Is Mobile Shopping the 'New Thanksgiving Tradition'?
Thanksgiving has been a battleground for retailers over the last decade, with consumerism encroaching ever-closer to many Americans' holiday traditions. But maybe we should be paying closer attention to our smartphones than to Black Friday ads.
According to studies by IBM, mobile devices accounted for "over half of all online traffic on [Thanksgiving]" on retail sites, The New York Times reports. Jay Henderson, director of IBM Smarter Commerce, called mobile use "a new Thanksgiving tradition."
Does this mean that mobile shopping is Americans' newest holiday tradition?
Thanksgiving Shopping by the Numbers
While shoppers seem to be increasingly interested in Thanksgiving deals, Black Friday may be on the decline. According to the Times, ShopperTrak, a consumer analytics firm, noted that retails have begun to offer "deep discounts well before their sales on Friday." The firm's studies show that online traffic on Thanksgiving Day increased 27.3 percent, while traffic on Black Friday fell 5.6 percent.
Perhaps small businesses have been scared off from the various legal issues associated with Black Friday door-buster sales and shifted holiday sales from brick-and-mortar stores to the online marketplace. Henderson seems to attribute the change to "how pervasive mobile has become." According to the Times, traffic from mobile devices has increased almost five-fold during the Thanksgiving season over the four years.
So if you haven't already, maybe it's time your business considers moving to accommodate mobile consumers.
Tips for Going Mobile
It may have been enough a decade ago to simply have an online presence for your business, but now it seems clear that retailers need to accommodate mobile customers. Business owners can start by:
- Making their websites responsive to mobile devices, because shoppers really hate mobile versions of websites that are a poor cousin to the desktop version;
- Creating an app to capture the ever-increasing smart device market; and
- Considering accepting mobile payments (while acknowledging the risks).
Small businesses might balk at supporting mobile trends that are cutting in on good ole Thanksgiving togetherness, but on the plus side, mobile shopping may also give shoppers more time at home with their loved ones.
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