Wednesday , December 12, 2018

The Black Friday-Cyber Monday Shopping Lesson? Pay Attention to the Checkout

Add e-commerce platform Shopify Inc. to the roster of entities that experienced record sales during the recent holiday-shopping weekend, reporting $1.5 billion in volume from Friday through Monday. Two-thirds of that came from mobile transactions.

Mobile commerce took the top spot on Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, according to Web-services provider Akamai Technologies. For the first time, mobile-device use surpassed desktop use on Cyber Monday, with 50.23% of the market. Desktop had 43.46%. In 2017, mobile devices accounted for 43.06% of use and desktop 48.07%.

More consumers also actually made purchases using a smart phone this year on Cyber Monday than in 2017, Akamai says. The conversion rate, which measures the percentage of site visitors who complete a purchase, was 2.97% for smart phones that day, compared with 2.39% in 2017. The desktop conversion rate of 5.41% was slightly less than the 2017 rate of 5.48%.

Forecasters have long predicted mobile commerce’s emergence as a major payments channel. Now that it’s here, merchants must take heed if they have not already. “For merchants, the shift to mobile shopping means building a sales strategy that reaches customers on mobile,” says Lynsey Thornton, Shopify vice president of core product, in an email to Digital Transactions News.

That could include the use of social sales channels and offering mobile-wallet acceptance and expedited checkout options. Shopify, for example, added Venmo, the person-to-person payment service from PayPal Holdings Inc., as a payment option in October. In April, Ottawa, Ontario-based Shopify released its Dynamic Checkout feature that enables product pages to feature a Buy Now button that skips the cart and goes directly to the checkout. Google Pay and Apple Pay also are available to Shopify merchants.

“Whether shopping during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales season or beyond, it’s simply getting easier and easier to buy on your phone thanks to mobile-optimized Web sites, apps, and online wallets,” Thornton says. “Our merchants are increasingly looking for ways to make their checkout more accessible and efficient,” she says. “For most people, their phone is their primary or only computer and these accelerated checkout options make mobile shopping easier, more secure, and more enjoyable.”

Accounting for 66% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year, mobile sales increased from 64% in 2017 at Shopify merchants.

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