Thanksgiving weekend was yet again a testament to the power of brick-and-mortar retailers. More than 174 million Americans shopped from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to the NRF. Not only were more consumers shopping, but their preferences in doing so (or how they did it) shifted towards the convenience of shopping online: 1/3 of shoppers shopped exclusively online, while 40% shopped both online and in stores. Stores remained a pivotal experience for shoppers throughout the entire weekend, meaning the battle between traditional retailers and pure-plays is far from over.
According to Adobe, ecommerce surged ahead with sales hitting a record breaking $2.87 billion, up 18.3% year-over-year. We saw similar results here at Blueport Commerce for our furniture retail clients. Across all of our clients for the five day period, we saw a 101% year-over-year sales increase on Thanksgiving alone. Cyber Monday’s sales also increased from last year by 58%, the largest day in platform history.
Over the course of the weekend we noticed a few noteworthy trends to help guide traditional furniture retailers’ strategy for next year and the holidays to come.
Your 24/7, Flagship Store is an Advantage on Thanksgiving Day
Even though brick-and-mortar stores were closed for most of the day on Thanksgiving, retailers with an ecommerce presence have the advantage of their online store being open 24/7. While many shoppers were at home spending time with their family, it didn’t stop them from getting a head start on their holiday shopping. Retailers who started their Black Friday pricing early or offered special deals on Thanksgiving saw sales reach Black Friday and Cyber Monday levels on Thanksgiving day itself. With stores closed on Thanksgiving, it is a great time to consider special online offers during the day to capture extra sales throughout the weekend.
“Over the course of the holiday period, Blueport retailers offered seamless online, mobile and in-store experiences, driving unprecedented results, making it easy for shoppers to research and buy when and where they preferred.” – Carl Prindle
A Strong Platform, Offers and Merchandising over the Holiday Were the Keys to Success
With traffic flat compared to last year, growth across the platform was driven primarily by an increase in conversion. Compelling offers, strong merchandising tactics and technology to make the customer experience seamless drove a 40% increase in conversion compared to last year across the Platform.
This year, Blueport’s furniture retail clients focused on strong and simple offers, which were a huge success in driving sales. Instead of offering coupon codes to redeem in cart, retailers utilized strikethrough pricing across all items so shoppers knew the exact prices as they browsed.
Improved merchandising tactics across the platform throughout the year added innumerable benefits for our retailers this holiday season. More helpful and faceted merchandising made it easier for customers to find exactly what they were looking for, increasing cart additions by 28% over the holiday period.
Mobile Revenue Increased with More Shoppers Shopping On Their Phone
Over the past few years we have seen significant increases in mobile traffic across the platform. Last year, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic as the largest device, and with 56% of traffic, 2017 was no different.
But even more exciting is the increase in sales on mobile we saw this year. In the past, customers felt comfortable researching and comparison shopping on their phones, but would transition to a desktop device or into a store to make a purchase. This year we saw consumers remaining on their phone to complete the purchase—a 102% increase in mobile sales over the holiday period and a 75% increase in mobile conversion.
As phones become more sophisticated and customers become accustomed to purchasing on them, this device will continue to grow increasingly important in this category. Blueport’s strong mobile first strategy was key our retailers’ success this Thanksgiving weekend.
We are thrilled with the results across the platform this Thanksgiving Weekend 2017. The success of our retailers proves just how significant the opportunity is for brick-and-mortar retailers with a strong ecommerce strategy in this space. We’ll continue to leverage learnings from this monumental holiday weekend to continuously improve the platform and enable furniture retailers’ success.