Social networks fail to entice Black Friday shoppers

Ever since the US conglomerates began tempting families away from spending another day with each other after Thanksgiving, turning it into the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, it has become a pretty good metric for going over the latest consumer buying trends. According to IBM’s extensive data sifting there were some interesting changes.

Online sales for Thanksgiving grew 17.4 percent, while web sales for Black Friday swelled 20.7 percent on the previous year. Almost one quarter of all consumers used a mobile device to visit a retail site, which was up from 14.3 percent last year, although mobile sales were at 16 percent.

That is still an impressive boost from 9.8 percent in 2011. Most consumers tracked bargains in-store, online, and on their mobile devices to make sure they got the best prices. IBM noted that 58 percent of all consumers on Black Friday used smartphones to browse on the day.

There was a 20.68 percent increase on sales overall, however people were spending slightly less per order, on average, and with fewer items. 

Of those that did visit using mobile devices, iPad traffic led the way with 9.75 percent of all visits.

This was followed by 8.71 percent for shoppers using an iPhone, and 5.53 percent for those using Android devices. 

Social media was useful for spreading positive sentiment and helping brand image, as most were happy with promotions, shipping, convenience, and the retailers, at a three to one ratio.

However, advertisers on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are still struggling to monetise the networks, with all of the above generating just 0.34 percent of all online sales throughout Black Friday – a decrease of over 35 percent from 2011.