More consumers took to their smart phones this past Friday, known as Black Friday, at the expense of shopping online with a desktop computer, finds Akamai Technologies, a Web-services company.
Consumers using mobile devices accounted for 57.6% of online shopping on Nov. 23, compared with 35.9% for those using desktop devices. That compares to 51.2% for mobile and 39.1% for desktop on the 2017 Black Friday.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai said its prediction that mobile would continue to grow this holiday shopping season has been borne out. “We see no signs of mobile online sales dropping through the remainder of the holiday season; it will continue its growth at the expense of desktop,” the company said in a report.
Mobile showed gains in the conversion-rate metric, too, which measures the percentage of site visits that result in a sale. For mobile this past Friday, the average conversion rate was 2.72%, up from 2.46% in 2017. The desktop conversion rate was 5.12%, down from 5.41% last year.
“Mobile is tricky because customers have less patience, are more prone to abandon a transaction [because] they are still not as confident in mobile,” Ari Weil, Akamai vice president of product marketing, says in an email to Digital Transactions News. “Mobile provides fewer signals than desktop, so the experience must be flawless to capture conversions and revenue from mobile shoppers.”
The importance of this for merchants is the need to simplify the checkout experience, Weil says. “Fewer steps, smarter forms to take advantage of increasingly intelligent smartphones (e.g. know it’s an email field, allow pre-filling from saved data in a browser), and better support for mobile payments. “
Perhaps not wanting to be left out, criminals, too, made online fraud a priority. Akamai said it measured 485 billion retail-specific bot attacks and 129 million credential-stuffing or abuse attacks on Black Friday. Such attacks can swamp retailer anti-fraud efforts and sap their ability to filter out bad actors.
Credential stuffing is a serious issue for merchants because a criminal can pretend to be a legitimate consumer if the correct combination of passwords and user names can be used to gain account access.
U.S. retailers were the most heavily targeted, accounting for 59% of attacks, followed by Japan, 9%, and the United Kingdom, 5%.