Black Friday might get the lion’s share of press, but this year’s Cyber Monday was the better deal for online retailers, Adobe Systems Inc.’s marketing research division has found.

Data collected by Adobe Digital Insights indicates that between Friday Nov. 25 and Monday Nov. 28, Canadians spent a total of $692 million, with the average shopper spending $170 on Black Friday and $203 on Cyber Monday.

The latter’s dominance is likely related to the numerous deals consumers were offered on Black Friday, and which in many cases remained in place through the weekend, Adobe Digital Insights manager Becky Tasker told ITBusiness.ca.

Adobe Digital Insights manager Becky Tasker
Adobe Digital Insights manager Becky Tasker found that the later it became, the more consumers bought into Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

“When we dug into the consumer spending numbers, we actually saw that Black Friday’s conversion rates spiked in the evening across devices, because people were excited to shop – they were out there looking for deals and converting once they found them online,” she explained. “We saw similar patterns for Cyber Monday, when the conversion rate skyrocketed again at night, indicating that consumers were shopping around and making their purchases before the deals ran out.”

“Personally, I’m excited by the rates that people are spending online,” Tasker said. “I think it’s a promising sign for e-commerce in general.”

The numbers would have been especially welcome news for the many retailers who saw online sales dip earlier in the month, Tasker said, particularly in the U.S.

“Moving into the Thanksgiving Day weekend… [the American results] were actually coming in a bit under our expectations, which we attributed to U.S. consumers being distracted by the presidential election and going to media and entertainment sites instead of doing their shopping,” she said. “But as we got into the key holiday events, we started seeing great consumer turnout.”

Also worth noting was the increased share of mobile sales, Tasker said: 28 per cent per cent of online sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday were conducted on smartphones or tablet devices, a 13 per cent increase over last year.

The number of consumers looking up information on their smartphones went up too, Adobe found, with 48 per cent of website visits being conducted on mobile devices, a 10 per cent increase over last year.

“We predicted that we were going to see more visits to retailer websites from mobile devices and desktops for the first time since we began doing these predictions,” Tasker said, noting that in the U.S., this year’s Black Friday was the first day in online history to generate more than $1 billion in sales through mobile device – a record repeated by Cyber Monday.

“It indicates that consumers are getting more and more comfortable shopping on mobile devices… which we think is going to be an ongoing trend,” she said, though Tasker could not speculate on whether bricks-and-mortar played a role in the difference between online sales and online visits.

She did, however, note that mobile visitors had lower conversion rates than desktop shoppers.

“Retailers need to determine how they’re going to optimize their mobile experiences if they want to close that purchase gap,” Tasker said.

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