Walmart Gets Mobile Sales Boost Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday

Most major retailers reported increased sales this holiday from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, thanks in part to m-commerce. Notably, mobile spending reached $314 million on Black Friday, out of the total $1.512 billion spent online that day, comScore found. Plus, mobile sales accounted for $350 million of Cyber Monday’s $2.085 billion in online sales. M-commerce sales accounted for nearly 21 percent of total Black Friday online sales and 17 percent of Cyber Monday sales. And Wal-Mart Stores’ (NYSE:WMT) executives gave thanks for the spike in mobile traffic that greatly benefited their Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The traffic from mobile devices to Walmart.com between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday was more than 50 percent of total traffic, up a significant 40 percent from last year, according to Walmart. Mobile traffic to Walmart.com peaked at 7 p.m. EST on Thanksgiving Day, an hour after its bricks-and-mortar stores opened with the first set of Black Friday savings. 7 p.m. was also an hour before the retailer's second set of savings—including discounts on televisions—became available. "On Thanksgiving Day, we know the top product pages that were browsed by our customers on mobile devices included the Black Friday circular and a Black Friday special. I think that really underscores how customers are using their mobile phones not just to prepare for their Black Friday in-store shopping, but also to really access the online assortment for accessories and just to find more choices and more opportunities to save," Ravi Jariwala, director of public relations at Walmart, told Mobile Commerce Daily. Walmart's mobile app played a big role in increasing traffic to its website from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Traffic specifically from its iPhone, iPad and Android mobile apps more than doubled during the same five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend period this year compared to last year, according to the retailer. While Walmart upped its mobile strategy earlier this year to ready itself for the 2013 holiday shopping season, it will likely increase its focus on mobile in 2014. "We know that more than 50 percent of Walmart store customers have smartphones, and they're using them to shop, so mobile traffic to our site has been steadily increasing, and I think it's convenient and allows customers to engage with the brand and shop on the go, whenever and wherever they are," Jariwala said. Meanwhile, most other retailers benefited from the growth of mobile apps and mobile sales. The fact that m-commerce accounted for close to one in five digital dollars, or 18.5 percent, spent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is significant, comScore said, “because that percentage is far higher than we’ve ever seen in our quarterly spending data,” Internet Retailer reported Meanwhile, a separate survey of 26 online retail sites found that online visitor-to-sales conversion rates between Thanksgiving Day and the following Wednesday were higher in 2013 than in 2012. Conversion rates hit their highest points in both years on Cyber Monday, at 7.4 percent this year and 6 percent in 2012, according to RichRelevance. Surprisingly, the largest year-over-year increases were on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving this year, as conversion rates rose to 5.3 percent from 3.7 percent on Tuesday and to 5.4 percent from 3.6 percent on Wednesday, Internet Retailer reported.

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