Black Friday and Cyber Monday Set Online and Mobile Shopping Records in the UK, According to IBM Watson Trend

Black Friday Online Sales Up 50 Percent, Set Stage for Strong Cyber Monday with Sales up 23.6 Percent over 2014

London, UK - 01 Dec 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) reports strong online shopping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015, with online sales growing by 50 percent and 23.6 percent respectively over 2014. Over the same two day period, the IBM Watson Trend app also identified the most popular products and the stories behind them.

 

According to IBM Watson Trend, Black Friday led the way for strong online sales on Cyber Monday. IBM identified the following shopping insights for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015:

 

Black Friday:

  • Black Friday Online Sales on the Rise: Online sales for Black Friday were up 50 percent over the same day in 2014. 
  • Consumers Cash in on Black Friday Deals: The average order value for the mobile and desktop shopper combined for Black Friday was £81.75.
  • Consumers Balance Mobile and Desktop Shopping: Consumers continue to shop via their mobile devices—mobile accounted for 63 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 10 percent over 2014. Mobile sales are also strong, with 47 percent of all online sales coming from mobile devices, an increase of 15 percent over last year.
  • Mobile Shoppers Spending on the Go: Smartphone shoppers spent £75.28 per order.  Desktop had the highest average order value of £85.45 followed by tablets at £81.34.
  • Smartphone Shoppers Dominate: Smartphones were the shopper’s device of choice. Smartphones accounted for 43.5 percent of all online traffic, more than 2 times that of tablets at 19.4 percent. Smartphones surpassed tablets in sales, driving 24.9 percent of online sales versus tablets at 22 percent.
  • Retailers have gained attention: Black Friday saw the most notable increase in session length and number of site visits, and falling bounce rates compared to those of 2014. Session length grew from 5.50 to 5.21 and bounce rates fell from 34.9% to 28.7%.

 

Cyber Monday:

  • Cyber Monday Online Sales on the Rise: Online sales for Cyber Monday were up 23.6 percent over the same day in 2014. 
  • Consumers Cash in on Cyber Monday Deals: The average order value for the mobile and desktop shopper combined for Cyber Monday were £67.25
  • Consumers Balance Mobile and Desktop Shopping: Consumers continued to shop via their mobile devices—mobile accounted for 60 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 10 percent over 2014. Mobile sales are also strong, with 43.5 percent of all online sales coming from mobile devices, an increase of 19 percent over last year.
  • Mobile Shoppers Spending on the Go: Smartphone shoppers spent £61.39 per order.  Desktop had the highest average order value of £69.93 followed by tablets at £66.88.
  • Smartphone Shoppers Dominate:  Smartphones were the shopper’s device of choice. Smartphones accounted for 39.2 percent of all online traffic, nearly 2 times that of tablets at 20.8 percent.
  • Retailers Cash in on the Tablet Shopper:  Tablets surpassed smartphones in sales driving 23.4 percent of online sales versus smartphones at 20.1 percent.
  • Consumers are browsing for longer: Monday’s figures saw a 17 second growth in session length compared to last year, a growth from 7.0 to 7.4 page views and a reduced bounce rate from 34.9% to 33%.

In addition to sales, the IBM Watson Trend app, which spotlights the hottest 100 consumer electronics, toys and health and fitness products at any given time, identified popular items and the stories behind them over these two major shopping days.  These insights and foresights are based on online conversations in English, primarily in North America. Key products and trends from Black Friday and Cyber Monday include:

 

  • Nike Shoes: Watson discovered consumers are flocking to brands that offer “barefoot running” or “natural running” shoes marketed to help prevent injury. Watson found that Nike shoe owners in particular are talking about Nike’s Free, the Air Max and Flyknit Racing Shoes, which offer colour, design and versatility as both athletic and casual footwear.
  • Skylanders: Skylanders has helped drive the toys-to-life video game movement, where physical and virtual worlds merge. According to Watson, excitement around the latest version is less about new characters or vehicles, but the ability to play the game on multiple screens. Ironically, parents are also drawn to the game because many children choose to turn off the screen and play with Skylanders action figures.
  • Star Wars Droids: Star Wars mania extends beyond Legos. Watson has identified growing excitement around the new R2-D2 Astromech Interactive Droid that walks, spins, and turns its head realistically. According to Watson, R2D2 is being hailed by many as the perfect gift for Star Wars fans. Watson has also identified buzz around the pricier BB-8 that responds to human voice-commands and shows and records holographic videos.
  • Hoverboard: Hoverboards bring consumers one step closer to the fictional product that debuted in the 1985 film Back to the Future. Watson finds that conversations around these single-wheeled self-balancing boards are driven by high-profile celebrities like Wiz Khalifa and Usain Bolt. Called the Razor scooter of the 2010s, Watson finds that Hoverboards are popular amongst tech-lovers and boarders of all ages.

Available for free download in the Apple App Store, IBM Watson Trend leverages natural language and machine learning technologies to uncover consumer preferences, pinpoint patterns and trends and reveal why people are choosing certain products or brands. IBM Watson Trend also features predictive analytics that allow it to forecast if a particular trend is a fleeting fad or will continue to remain strong.

To keep up with the latest news and reports on the what, why and how of holiday shopping please click here.