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6 minutes read

What a Record Cyber Monday Means for Mobile Retail Apps

By Robert Kazmi
What a record cyber monday means for mobile retail apps
By Robert Kazmi
6 minutes read

After all the football and turkey is done, the real action gets going. Events like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and especially Cyber Monday are now permanent parts of the holiday season, and they’re growing at a rapid rate. Numbers from a recent report by Adobe show record-breaking digital commerce statistics, and it’s increasingly shifting towards a mobile-dominant world. This also means that mobile retail apps are continuing to emerge as a powerful force for retailers, and the scramble to produce great apps is at an all-time high. Let’s look at some of these numbers, and what it means to the digital marketing landscape. 

Breaking Records

First, let’s start with the biggest number. Revenue on Cyber Monday was measured at $9.4 billion, almost a 20% increase over last year. Much of that was done in the after-work evening hours, often a time where mobile use is high. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Cyber Monday is now the high point of online retail, and it’s growing exponentially. That said, expanding special deals around that day could be smart, as procrastinators always look for deals late.

It’s predicted that shopping on a phone will account for almost half of all online retail revenue growth this holiday season, with around $14 billion spent. This also marks the first time that phone purchases will outpace desktop or laptop sales, and that, also, shows no signs of slowing.

These sorts of records are encouraging for mobile retail app developers, as you can package all sorts of features into a retail app that gives the buyers everything they need to shop, compare, review and buy in one place. There are great examples of innovative retail apps here, so do your research.

 More About Mobile Phones

It’s a well-known fact that mobile is now king. It’s instructive to take a good look at a few factors that this report mentions to realize the improvements in mobile commerce that you can’t afford to lose out on.

  •  You might think users lingering on your page or app is a good thing, but when it comes to commerce, the faster the better. Time spent on each mobile site has decreased 11% since 2016, and number of pages users have moved through has decreased by 14%. Notice that quick efficient shopping is trending up, so making a complete yet streamlined process within your retail app will pay dividends.
  • Need proof? The amount of money per minute spent on a mobile device climbed from 30 cents in 2016 to 47 cents this year…an increase of 67%. This is a powerful statistic when considering how to strategize your retail app UX.
  •  It’s not all positive news. This report says that clunky or slow checkout processes on mobile devices are costing the industry in a big way. It predicts $3.1 billion of potential revenue was left on the table due to subpar checkout experiences. If you didn’t think checkout UX was a priority, you probably do now. 

Mobile Vs. Desktop

We should also look at some interesting trends with how traffic and revenue trend with both mobile and desktop users, if only to see where mobile can make up some ground.

According to this report, traffic (or browsing, researching, and comparing) between Nov 1-Dec 2 was dominated by mobile users at 58% vs. desktop at 37%. Conversely, actual sales and conversions were almost exactly opposite, with desktops at 59% and mobiles at 36%. What does that tell us? Well, it’s likely that most folks like to do their browsing and research on-the-go, or when they have a free moment somewhere. It’s also good to remember that lots of shoppers get ideas and recommendations from social media posts and ads, making the mobile choice an obvious one.

Yet, having the roles reversed when it comes to desktops and sales is likely because of payment and checkout issues. Many people feel safer making payments on a desktop, regardless of the system. This means that many mobile shopping carts get abandoned, so taking a good look at the shopper’s journey and focusing where they jump off the site is good practice.

Other Interesting Stats

Here’s a few more relevant stats all about the big Cyber weekend.

  •  The hours of 7 pm to 11 pm on Cyber Monday night are the biggest four hours of the digital commerce year, easily equaling a day or more worth of sales in one evening. Any mobile retail app should be well-equipped to deal with a surge like that, from both a technical support and inventory side.
  •  Shopping carts on desktops tend to be 28% larger than carts on mobile. Bigger cost items like furniture and large appliances typically get more research and comparison shopping, which can be easier on a bigger screen. An app that facilitates easy research and comparisons of leading brands may have an edge and get the conversions.
  •  Smartphone social media-based traffic has risen sharply over the last three years, from 4% to 11%. While those numbers are encouraging, the revenue and sales lag behind the traffic. Social media marketing works…just make sure that the landing page and/or app it links to gives the user the best deal you have going.
  •  As it works out, 2019 is the shortest Cyber Season possible, with a mere 22 days between Cyber Monday and Christmas Day. Retailers are still setting records by starting early sales and running engaging events throughout December. Anticipating these fun events and featuring them on your app could pay big dividends during this red-hot season.


So, what’s the lesson here? Well, first, this holiday buying extravaganza is only getting bigger every year, so you should approach any mobile retail app development with that in mind. Pay special attention to payment and checkout processes, and make sure you’ve streamlined the buying journey as much as possible. Read these sorts of reports carefully, and get ready for next year!

Are you interested in getting your piece of the mobile retail app industry? Get in touch with us for a free consultation!

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