Another year, another Cyber Week that generated record sales for retailers. On Black Friday, online sales in the U.S. reached $6.2 billion, and they topped $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday. As we had predicted in September, mobile has (unsurprisingly) declared its dominance in driving these sales. In fact, mobile shopping has helped make Thanksgiving one of the largest sales days online for retailers.

"Mobile stole the show Thanksgiving Day with smartphones representing more than 50% of traffic to retail sites, as well as a record amount of revenue (at $1 billion)."
- Taylor Schreiner, Director of Adobe Digital Insights

Thanksgiving Day was only the beginning. According to Adobe, Black Friday purchases made on smartphones reached $2.1 billion, up 79% from the old record of $1.4 billion set on Cyber Monday 2017. All in all, Cyber Monday 2018 finished strongest with $2.8 billion in sales made from mobile devices, setting a new mobile record.

The Button Marketplace, home to 9 out of the top 10 retailers as ranked by Forbes, echoed these findings and further validated mobile's role in holiday shopping. Make sure you sign up to be the first to get a copy of the full 2018 Holiday Report Button will release in January. In the meantime, here's a first look at what went down in our Marketplace.

More Mobile Than 2017

Compared to last year, mobile usage has surged. Salesforce reported that mobile accounted for 54% of total orders and 68% of traffic. Across the board, our Marketplace behavior reveals shoppers used their phones to shop the many retailer deals at a 263% higher rate than 2017.

2018 vs 2017 mobile shopping trends, Button Marketplace, Cyber Week (11–19–18 through 11–26–18)

Starting Early, Finishing Strong

One of the most striking differences from 2017 to 2018 is the role of Thanksgiving Day itself. This year, shoppers started even earlier by browsing and buying on Thanksgiving morning.

Hourly activity, Button Marketplace, Thanksgiving Day 2018 (11–22–18)
Consumers got a head start this year by kicking off shopping Thanksgiving morning and only pausing around dinner time. After dinner, we see order rates peak and cart sizes increase significantly. Seems like shoppers heard that deals are good for digestion.
Activity by day, Button Marketplace, Cyber Week (11–19–18 through 11–26–18)
Thanksgiving Day accounted for the third highest volume of mobile browsing over the Cyber Week period.
Orders by day, Button Marketplace, Cyber Week (11–19–18 through 11–26–18)
Though Thanksgiving Day wasn't the highest by order volume, it was a close third to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Apps Are Increasingly Important

In the Button Marketplace, shoppers complete more orders in apps compared to the mobile web. Our research has found that consumers prefer to shop in-app as it is more convenient. This is great news for brands and retailers as apps are undeniably a great opportunity to engage with existing, loyal customers and perform much better than mobile websites. Cyber Week's 2018 performance is yet another example where this holds true.

App vs Mobile Web Conversion Rate Average and Repeat Purchase Rate, Button Marketplace, Cyber Week (11–19–18 through 11–26–18)

Apps also present a unique opportunity to acquire new customers that will become loyal beyond the holiday season. According to Deloitte, 75% of shoppers indicated a willingness to try other (new) retailers if given the right incentives, including better prices, greater product selection, and unique offerings. We found this to be true for Brands in the Button Marketplace— there was a 3x increase of app installs year-over-year from new customers throughout the holidays. As the holiday shopping weeks continue and we enter the new year, we expect these newly acquired users to become frequent shoppers in their newly-downloaded retailer apps.

It's Only Getting Started

Since over half of holiday shoppers (57%) do not anticipate completing their shopping until December, we're excited to see how the rest of the season shakes out for brands and retailers. Sign up to be the first to get a copy of the full 2018 Holiday Report Button is releasing in January with even more mobile holiday insights.