Thanksgiving Mobile Sales Surge 58%

The shift in online shopping from desktop computers to mobile devices is surging again this year as 58.6% of Thanksgiving Day shoppers used their smartphones and tablets to make purchases. A record $449 million was rung up by 5:00 p.m. ET Thursday, with $322 million in sales recorded from smartphones and $127 million from tablets.

Total online sales reached $1.15 billion, up 13.6% year over year. Sales to desktop users totaled $702 million.

The data were posted by Adobe Digital Insights and the researchers till expect total Thanksgiving Day sales to reach or come close to $2 billion.

The less good news for retailers is that discounting is much higher this year. Tablets, TVs, toys, and pet care items are much more heavily discounted than last year with most of the promotional pricing being revealed by search advertising and shopper help sites.

Mobile devices accounted for 54% of visits (44% smartphone; 10% tablet) and 39% of purchases compared with 61% of purchases made on desktop computers and 46% of website visits. Conversion rates remain highest among desktop users with 3.4% of shoppers making a purchase compared with a tablet conversion rate of 3.2% and a smartphone rate of 1.7%.

Search advertising is driving the most sales with a 33.3% share. Shopper helper sites come in second with 20.7%, email drives the third-most sales at 17.6%, and display ads come in at 2.3%, Ads on social media drove just 1.2% of sales.

Tamara Gaffney at Adobe Digital Insights said:

Mobile sales have totaled an incredible $449 Million, an increase of 58% from this same time last year. Mobile has become a standard in the American household, and Thanksgiving has become the day where consumers “shop on the sly,” as nearly a quarter of people we surveyed said they use mobile devices so they aren’t obvious to friends and family at the dinner table. We’ve also seen larger pricing decreases come into play in key categories such as tablets and toys, which could affect the final numbers to come in just shy of the predicted $2 Billion.

Top-selling products include new Inspiron computers from HP, Apple iPads, Samsung 4K TVs, drones and Nerf guns, electric scooters and other vehicles for kids.

Not everything has been selling at a discount however. Christmas decorations have been selling at a 4.3% premium compared with last year and sporting goods are priced 4.1% higher.