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Have the winners and losers of Black Friday already been decided?

Written by Matthew Robinson on Wednesday, 21 November 2018. Posted in Online, Sales & Marketing

Matthew Robinson of ContentSquare explains why mobile marketers will win this Black Friday thanks to quality data-driven insights

Have the winners and losers of Black Friday already been decided?

It’s no secret that Black Friday has long been more of a success for retailers online over those on the high street, but as technology trends continue to shift in favour of mobility, retailers are seeing surges in Black Friday sales on mobile devices.

39% of last year’s Black Friday shopping was completed on a smartphone and the research we’ve conducted ourselves at ContentSquare, the company analysing how customers interact with your brand, indicated that mobile conversion rates on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2017  increased by 167% – a clear indication that it’s time for retailers to implement practical ways to give themselves an edge via their mobile sites. 

So, what’s the most practical approach to plan for success on mobile sites for Black Friday? Finding quality data-driven insights that can provide critically important action items to address well before the peak season.

Avoid the DRIP virus with quality over quantity

The data rich, insight poor (DRIP) virus is one that e-commerce teams everywhere have been infected by. With more access to data than ever before, teams should be wary of drowning in the insights being provided by the array of legacy analytics tools they’re using. Instead, they need to identify what data is most relevant to help them effectively optimise a users’ experience online and via their mobile, then action it.

Without the right data, it becomes impossible for a data-driven mobile marketing approach to become effective. To cut through the noise, brands must invest in tools that enable them to not only access the right, quality data, but democratise it as well to ensure individuals can access relevant, role-specific information, resulting in faster insight and action – ideal for mobile marketing as these visitors demand speed and seamless user experience.

Breaking down the quality data

The right data for each retailer will vary based on previous Black Friday performances, but by performing an audit of last year’s success with a UX analytics tool, retailers can unlock valuable insights to enhance the user’s experience during the discount shopping period. The visitor journey and mobile conversion rates are a great place to start when performing an audit on last year’s Black Friday performance. 

Using visitor journey data to be proactive for Black Friday

A visitor’s journey is one of the most critical pieces of quality data a mobile marketer needs to understand the success of their mobile site. Having a visual overview of every visitor segment and how they flow through your site is critical to reactivity. 

The mobile winners of Black Friday will be retailers that can easily analyse on-site visitor journeys to identify where, if anywhere, their visitors are losing interest, which pages drive journeys leading to conversion and how visitors from different sources navigate their site.

Research we conducted using ContentSquare’s UX insights platform found that sessions on mobiles are 1.5 times shorter than on other devices. In fact, 37% of mobile sessions last less than a minute and there is a 50% chance that mobile users will abandon a site after five seconds. 

The exit rate of mobile users is also 25% higher than desktop and tablet users on the second page, perhaps because window shoppers on mobile devices typically spend more time scrolling through category pages than product pages. But their attention remains limited on mobile. It takes just 39 seconds for a mobile user to decide to leave a page. Just so you know, that’s 22% less time than on a desktop or tablet. 

The Black Friday winners will ensure their mobile sites have optimised homepages to grab a visitor’s attention, highlight offers and fast load times. But, how?

We might be slightly biased but we truly believe moving towards UX analytics and insight platforms is the way forward. These platforms offer all sales, e-commerce, marketing and digital teams the ability to conduct a detailed audit of their previous Black Friday events and applying all of the learnings to their site structure and product features this time around. 

By using UX and insight platform, retailers can drill down to in-page detail to understand how and why visitors behave ahead of any shopping period. Using this comprehensive data, they can be more proactive in their Black Friday approach.


So why should you move away from legacy tools:? The Black Friday winners will already have the tools in place to provide them with the ability to quickly access detailed, in-page insight about the behavioural aspects of their visitors, for every segment, device and across any date range. 

Sealing the deal with mobile conversion

Mobile cart abandonment rates fall by 7% on Black Friday, but mobile visitors are 35% more likely to abandon their cart than desktop users. For maximum success, retailers need to minimise load times, alongside a smooth and easy-to-complete checkout process.

The winners will be able to easily identify and resolve visitor frustrations, including the most common one of all – slow load times. 40% of people will leave a web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load, but nearly one fifth of mobile users experience loading times in excess of five seconds on mobile versus desktop.

The 33% bounce rate average on Black Friday, across all channels, is a direct result of the checkout. Mobile users spend 69% more time at the checkout than users on other devices, with the mobile shopping cart abandonment rate 30% higher than desktop thanks to issues like lengthy form fills and frustrating user experiences. 

To reduce cart abandonment, having an efficient checkout process is key, with only a few steps needed to complete a purchase. Knowing in advance which form fields cause the greatest visitor frustration is also important, so they can be resolved before Black Friday. As one in four mobile users abandon a site if they get an error message, the winners will ensure that they have rectified any potential problems, so their site has no errors.

Mobile marketers and quality data: a match made for success 

Advanced technologies like UX analytics are crucial to empowering digital teams to work faster, smarter, and more efficiently. This creates breathing room to prepare for e-commerce events like Black Friday well in advance.

The winners of Black Friday will be those retailers that have considered and implemented practical ways to give themselves an edge in the mobile ecommerce experience, while being able to extract actionable insights without drowning in data. 

About the Author

Matthew Robinson

Matthew Robinson

Matthew Robinson is the head of marketing at ContentSquarethe company analysing how customers interact with your brand.

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