Whilst in the UK shopping for Christmas gently ramps up to the big day, in the US Thanksgiving day is a natural holiday break that kick-starts the shopping season.
Smart phones are driving the shopping revolution though, on Thanksgiving Day 2011, PayPal saw a 511% increase in mobile purchases over Thanksgiving Day 2010! It would appear that this year is no different with another 173% increase compared to Thanksgiving day 2011.
Whist 173% was dwarfed by the 511% from the previous year, the numbers shouldn’t be sniffed at. Think back just five years – who had a smart phone back then? Shopping on a mobile device simply wasn’t possible and tablets were a promise yet to materialise. The year on year increase is especially significant given the huge rise last year and demonstrates that mobile shows no signs of topping out any time soon.
What is also interesting is that mobile has changed US shopping habits. Consumer holiday shopping now starts on Thanksgiving day, not Black Friday. In the past families in the US would gather for their Turkey and afterwards collapse on the sofa in front of the TV. Now however out come the iPads and Smart phones which are a little more discrete than firing up the computer in the corner. With nothing better to do people start shopping and what better time to buy your niece that must have present than when she’s just mentioned what she’d love to have for Christmas?
eBay are taking full advantage of mobile commerce to ensure people can shop whenever and wherever without sacrificing time with their families. It’s all just too easy and with PayPal processing almost a fifth of global ecommerce they’re in prime position to see the change in shopping habits. GSI which powers some of the world’s biggest ecommerce stores saw an increase of 170% an PayPal volumes more than doubled compared to Thanksgiving day last year.
That’s just the start though… Black Friday numbers are yet to come in. The big question is however are you buying on your mobile? Because if you’re not it’s highly likely that your customers are. If you’ve never used the eBay mobile app it’s time to try it out, not because it’s great, just because you should know what your customer’s experience looks like.