Brick and Mortar Down, Mobile Up

With Black Friday safely in the past and the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s a good time to take a look at changing shopping trends. Retail analytics data from ShopperTrak indicates a 0.5% drop in sales at retail stores from $12.35 billion to $12.29 billion over Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Retailers shouldn’t be worried yet, though, because prognosticators predict sales to steady out and contribute to an overall increase from last year over the entire holiday season.

What sticks out here is the tremendous spike in online purchasing compared to 2013. Adobe Systems reports $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion in online sales over Thanksgiving and Black Friday. That’s a 25% and 24% increase over last year, respectively. Smartphone usage in the holiday shopping process has seen a significant boost with 29% of Thanksgiving sales coming from mobile devices.

While this data doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for brick and mortar outlets, it does indicate a growing desire among consumers to forego the 3:00AM start times, impossibly long lines, bitter employees, and feisty shoppers to shop from the comfort of home.

If you are a retail outlet without a mobile-friendly online presence, you are abandoning a growing set of consumers that are hungry for good alternatives to the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping experience.