Black Friday Sales Data 2012

Black Friday(Mansfield)
Black Friday(Mansfield) (Photo credit: George Artwood)

This is a roundup of data gathered around the 2012 Black Friday sales event, with a special focus on online sales data.

Every year when the data comes out there are dribs and drabs scattered across a wide variety of studies, sites and posts. I’m going to aggregate them here.

Black Friday 2012 Timing Data

As a specific event, the timing of when Black Friday begins in terms of shopping behavior, provides an opportunity for data gathering.

Context: Qualitative indicators for “Post-Pie” shopping

“EBay recently surveyed more than 1,000 shoppers in the United States about their holiday shopping plans. Almost two thirds said holiday sales should begin after Thanksgiving dinner and respondents said their meals would end, on average, at 5:23 p.m. EST.” Source: Reuters

Behavior: Sales volume over time Thanksgiving and Black Friday

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report tracks sales volume in real time for both days.

Sales volume chart by the minute for online shoppers Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2012
Sales volume chart by the minute for online shoppers Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2012

Black Friday 2012 Mobile Data

Mobile device usage for shopping was observed by several reporting data sources.

Context: Device ownership going into Black Friday 2012

According to Comscore 119.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (51.0 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in September.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Sep. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Jun. 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Jun-12 Sep-12 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 51.6% 52.5% 0.9
Apple 32.4% 34.3% 1.9
RIM 10.7% 8.4% -2.3
Microsoft 3.8% 3.6% -0.2
Symbian 0.9% 0.6% -0.3

Source: Comscore

Behavior: Mobile and Mobile OS data for Black Friday 2012

BBMC: “The Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index is a compilation of 66 mobile sites developed by Branding Brand for retailers across a variety of industries including apparel, health and beauty, and home goods.”

IBM: “This data is the result of cloud-based analytics findings from IBM.” No sample size indicators given.

Black Friday 2012: Mobile data 
Reach Metrics Sum/Total/Avgs Android iOS Source
Mobile’s share of all commerce traffic 20.44% BBMC
Share of all traffic by mobile platform 23.99%* 5.53% 18.4%* IBM
Mobile visitors 3,513,367 32% 63% BBMC
Conversion Metrics
Mobile’s share of site sales 16.26% IBM
Orders 50,905 29% 69% BBMC
Items per order 5.56 IBM
Average order value $78.92 80.37 $75.43 BBMC
Average order value $181.22 IBM
*Data generated by summing data in original source to provide more direct comparisons. The IBM report, for example, reports on iPhone and iPad separately while the Branding Brand (now there’s a search engine optimized company name) reports on iOS.

Black Friday 2012 Social Data

 I’m still looking for more information on this. The IBM data has famously pointed out that social had a negligible impact on sales and I have yet to see any other data points to contradict that (there are several studies showing a lot of social posts, mentions etc, but that is a different beast than attributable sales data). If I find some more interesting stuff (or you let me know about something interesting) I’ll fill out a social block here.

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