Black Friday 2016 was the first day to generate more than a billion dollars in sales from mobile devices alone! During last year’s Black Friday, mobile was responsible for 68% of website visits with smartphone making up the vast majority of that. Further to this, Black Friday 2016 was a tipping point where orders by mobile overtook desktop for the first time.

This year, it’s estimated that £20 billion will be spent in November. With mobile accounting for almost half of that. Because of mobile’s massive growth, November is even poised to take over December as the biggest shopping month of the year. So it’s no surprise brands are focusing so much on their mobile offering for the future. But what actually are the benefits of investing in mobile?

Benefits of investing in mobile

With smartphone usage recently overtaking desktops and laptops, it’s clear that mobile can no longer be an afterthought. But this isn’t just because of the platform’s rapid growth. Mobile also offers a huge return on your investment.

Investing in mobile, email and social will net you almost 30% more sales during the Black Friday period! On top of that, your average orders will be 25% higher. So by investing in mobile today, you’ll attract the increasing numbers of digital consumers. Instead of the dropping numbers who still plan to shop in-store.

It’s clear Black Friday offers a huge opportunity. But how can your business use mobile to make the most of the upcoming shopping season?

Mobile-first marketing

With almost £10 billion of sales expected on mobile devices this November, it’s critical to consider mobile in your marketing. But if you want to dominate Black Friday 2017, mobile should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

Despite the rapid growth of mobile for e-commerce, there’s still a gap between overall traffic and conversions. While mobile made up a majority of website visits, desktop still accounted for 49% of sales. During a time where 86% more people will be adding items to their baskets, it’s vital that the customer experience is as slick and seamless. To maximise conversions, boost sales and encourage customers to return after the Black Friday period ends.

Consumers are eager to spend more on mobile. But high expectations mean your mobile user experience must be perfect. So how do you streamline your user experience for mobile customers?

Streamlining the customer experience with native e-commerce apps

Firstly, it’s essential your site is optimised for mobile. Navigation should be intuitive and movement through your site seamless. Almost three quarters of mobile users will abandon your site after waiting just five seconds for it to load. So your site needs to be superfast and able to withstand the jump in traffic throughout Black Friday 2017. Otherwise you’ll be part of the £1.73 billion lost every year to slow-loading sites!

Websites vs. native apps

But there’s only so much you can do with a mobile-optimised website. Where it’s much more difficult to manage your user experience. A re-skinned website just won’t bring in as many conversions as a bespoke, native app. Because apps perform faster and can make full use mobile devices’ data and functionality.

Interacting with customers through mobile

People want highly relevant, personalised communications from your business. Mobile apps let you combine your existing data with customised push notifications to provide this. The most requested push notifications from customers are special offers based on their preferences.

Personalised push notifications engage your customers and have a 50% higher open rate than emails. Users who enable push notifications end up logging 53% more monthly sessions than those who don’t. Many e-commerce brands make use of device data to provide highly relevant promotions.

You can use these notifications to let undecided customers know if items in their baskets are part of the Black Friday sale. Other examples include clothing companies who use customers’ geo-location to advertise suitable outfits and accessories. Building on this, some apps even use geofencing to send notifications to users as soon as they enter or exit specific locations. This technology is highly valuable for physical stores who can use it to encourage shoppers to visit when they’re on-the-go. Or you could track how frequently the user engages with the app, rewarding repeat customers or high-frequency users. This personalised experience is able to re-engage lost customers, convert undecided buyers and increases the chance of customers returning on a regular basis.

You can also access device features like the camera and microphone to give your customers new ways to shop. Voice search is a standard feature in most major e-commerce apps. Many of which also allow users to search for items using their device’s camera. This increases ease-of-use and encourages more impulse purchases (which already account for 40% of money spent through e-commerce).

Mobile for analytics and user flow

Further to the variety of new ways to interact with customers during Black Friday 2017, mobile apps also offer advanced analytics. Using this data, you’re able to carry out in-depth user flow audits to track how your customers are interacting with your e-commerce platform. You can identify bottlenecks, using data and user feedback to show you where you’re losing sales.

It’s clear Black Friday is no longer just a one-day phenomenon. It’s not even just for the weekend. November offers a huge opportunity to your business. But today’s customers expect immediacy and won’t hesitate to jump ship. So you have to plan accordingly with a mobile-first marketing strategy.

By taking a mobile-first approach to Black Friday 2017, you’ll attract new customers, engage existing ones and increase retention in the long-term. Companies relying on desktop for the bulk of their sales, meanwhile, will be left wondering the reason for all the lost sales and abandoned baskets.

Sources: Salmon, Adobe & Business Insider

What to watch next: [VIDEO] How do I connect with tomorrow’s customer on mobile?

Thinking about using mobile to maximise your sales during Black Friday 2017?

We’re here to guide and advise you on the best solutions for your mobile app, so contact us today to see how you can use mobile to maximise your Black Friday 2017 sales.

Black Friday 2017 Mobile Video