Smartphones and tablets are changing the way people shop, making many consumers less likely to flock to brick-and-mortar locations to take advantage of holiday shopping deals.
With smartphone and tablet users able to make online purchases whenever they want and wherever they happen to be, online retailers are moving to stretch discounts and sales promotions across a wider period. Last year, for example, inline spending jumped 32% on Thanksgiving Day, compared to the prior year. By contrast, spending on Cyber Monday rose 17%, down from growth of 22% in the previous year, Bloomberg notes.
As consumer grow more comfortable with online sales and the ubiquity of mobile devices, they are less motivated to brave crowded stores and long lines to get deals.
This holiday season, digital sales are expected to rise 15% to $82 billion. Brick-and-mortar sales are expected to inch up just 3.9% to $602.1 billion.
Increasing mobile device sales have prompted retailers — including Macy’s (M), Amazon (AMZN), Target (TGT), Walmart (WMT), eBay (EBAY) and Sears (SHLD) — to tailor their online campaigns to smartphone and tablet users, offering mobile app-based promotions before and after Thanksgiving Day.
Mobile devices now account for about a third of all online traffic at the nation’s major retailers.
Many retail experts say the expanding holiday shopping season and changing market conditions could ultimately spell the end of the long-standing “Black Friday” shopping tradition.