With Black Friday quickly approaching, I wanted to incorporate the notorious shopping holiday into this blog post. The customer journey of searching for the best Black Friday deals has obviously transformed over the years, considering the technological advances of data sharing, application tracking, marketing funnels, and UX design. Shopping trends have migrated toward buying discounted items online rather than in-person, because it’s easier to browse more items while on-the-go or at work.
In fact, consumers spend 11% less time searching for Black Friday deals now compared to 2016, visiting 16% fewer websites. However, spending-per-minute has increased by 63%. If that’s not an efficiency gain, I don’t know what is! Based on this trend, it’s safe to assume that Black Friday shopping on mobile devices outpaces Black Friday shopping on desktop computers — especially in the year of 2019.
Roughly 54% of online sales were on desktop just two years ago, compared to 38% on smartphone and 8% on tablets. Adobe Analytics conducted a report on holiday shopping trends, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas. The findings were fascinating:
- Consumers are more likely to make a Black Friday purchase on a desktop vs. mobile
- People shopping on desktops had “carts” that were 28% more expensive than on phones
- Consumers tend to buy more expensive products on desktop and save cheaper items for mobile
These behaviors are based on the theory that shopping on a computer allows for deeper research, which is typically required when people are considering products and services with a higher price tag. For example, buying a blouse for $20 obviously doesn’t require as much research as buying a car for $25,000. Another reason may be due to the user experience of “checking out” on a desktop computer being significantly easier than making a purchase on-the-go from a smartphone.
Adobe’s findings mimic researched published by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, which stated that consumers make less accurate decisions (in terms of the degree to which their decisions are consistent with their preferences) when they use mobile devices instead of desktop computers. Head of the university’s Mobile Behavior Lab, Lior Fink, says this behavior is not due to the smaller screens, but because of the presentation of less information per page on mobile devices.
The researchers at Ben-Gurion University conducted two experiments to observe how a device impacts purchasing behavior. In the first experiment, they asked participants to choose the “best” fictitious hotel room out of eleven options, viewing details and information about each room on either a mobile device or PC. All of the need-to-know information was available on both devices. Toward the beginning of the experiment, the same information was displayed on both screens, and participants made equally accurate decisions. However, when the mobile screens started to require the participants to click further to see additional information, they made decisions that were less accurate and less aligned with their personal preferences.
This work is unique because it separates mobile device (screen size) from mobile display (information reduction), where the two are typically confounded in real-life use,” Fink said. “In so doing, we are able to show that lower decision accuracy in mobile use is due to mobile display rather than mobile device. If exactly the same information is presented on mobile devices and on PCs, there is no decrease in decision accuracy on mobile devices.
As more brands decide to create mobile-specific user interfaces, it’s becoming easier for consumers in 2019 to research more expensive products on their smartphones; but when it comes to decision-making, it’s best for shoppers to see as much information as possible to purchase exactly what they’re looking for on Black Friday.
Whether your target audience is committed to the traditional desktop buying experience or the convenience of mobile shopping on-the-go, understanding consumer behavior can help brands maximize their share of the Black Friday opportunity. It’s important to make sure your website provides a seamless customer journey for shoppers, no matter the device.