In the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday demonstrated that Walmart can be a very dangerous place to shop when toasters are on sale. In Canada, the shopping-centric weekend demonstrated a growing reliance on and usage of mobile shopping applications by smartphone users, evidenced by major increases in usage of these applications.
According to Vancouver-based mobile analytics firm Mobidia Technology, usage of mobile shopping apps increased by 86% relative to the average usage throughout the rest of 2013. Mobidia states that its data "clearly indicates smartphone users are increasingly using mobile apps to replace or complement their physical and online shopping." However, the company also acknowledges that, when comparing usage to core apps such as Facebook, mobile shopping apps are still only accounting for a small fraction of mobile usage—about 4% overall, and 8% during Black Friday.
“As expected, smartphone users increased their usage of mobile shopping apps during the first big week-end of holiday shopping,” said Chris Hill, vice president of marketing at Mobidia. “We saw increases across the board: increases in users of mobile shopping apps, increases in the number of minutes they used these apps, and increases in the number of unique views of these apps."
Mobile commerce grew 63% during the famous shopping weekend, accounting for nearly $940 million in sales in the US in just three days, according to statistics from Business Insider.
"It looks like consumers are making smartphones a critical component to their shopping experiences," affirmed Hill.
But tablets may already be taking the crown from smartphones when it comes to mobile commerce. Recent data from IBM suggests that tablets are now driving more consumer spending than smartphones—up to twice as much during Black Friday, in fact.
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