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Admit It: You Shopped Online This Holiday Weekend

Our consumer survey from Black Friday 2016 shows that 6.5% shopped at the Thanksgiving table.
Posted by
Rurik Bradbury
Head of Global Communications and Research
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 10:42

The Thanksgiving holiday was the most interactive shopping weekend in history, with more and more people turning to the conveniences of mobile purchasing. Black Friday sales broke records as the first billion-dollar mobile shopping day the U.S. has ever seen, while Cyber Monday also showed a record-high $3.45 billion in sales.

LivePerson conducted a consumer survey to provide a comprehensive and qualitative understanding of consumer behavior alongside these sales numbers. Here are some of the most interesting findings from our research.

Mobile purchasing is way up.

Many people chose to pick up their phones and shop online in the midst of the holiday instead of leaving friends or family to visit a physical store. In fact, 6.5% of respondents said they even did it at the Thanksgiving table. While 18–24-year-olds were more likely than any other group to have hidden from family during Thanksgiving to shop on their phones, boomers 45–54 and young adults 25–34 were most likely to drop pretenses and do their shopping at the table, right in front of everyone.

Younger people were also more likely to use a smartphone than a tablet. 46.6% of millennials completed a purchase over Cyber Weekend on a smartphone versus 35.5% of those 35 and older. The reverse was true on tablets, where 29.9% of consumers over the age of 35 completed a purchase versus 19.1% of millennials.

As thoughts turned from turkey to sales, we found that women were more likely than men to make a purchase on a mobile device. Nearly half of Gen Xers ages 35–44 even stated that they preferred Black Friday and Cyber Monday to Thanksgiving Day.

People multitask on multiple screens.

Of note to marketers, the mix of brands advertising on television and offering mobile shopping capabilities had a fairly strong impact — 32.3% of people shopped on mobile after viewing a TV ad on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. These people were also the prolific buyers: The majority of those who bought 20+ items on Black Friday did so after viewing a TV ad. Interestingly, men were more likely than women to be driven to purchase as the result something they saw on TV.

Customers are skeptical of customer service.

Retailers know they need to staff up during the busy holiday season to make sure they can handle the increase in traffic and sales as well as an increase in customer service requests. Unfortunately, many respondents avoided retailers’ service all together because they didn’t trust their abilities to resolve their issues. Forty-four percent of people said they didn’t contact an online retailer’s customer service because “it’s too much of a hassle,” while 14.3% reported they “don’t expect them to have an answer.”

According to this consumer behavior, retailers with strong mobile offerings scored a coup at a crucial moment in the holiday shopping season, but they can do a better job of communicating customer service options. Combining high-quality customer service yearlong and trumpeting that service before the holidays may better help retailers take advantage of additional mobile sales for 2017.

Read the press release here. 

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