Black Friday Mobile Commerce

I woke up this morning and quickly checked my email. I wasn’t expecting anything important but I had not even brushed my teeth or had morning coffee and at 08:30am, my inbox was filled with Black Friday promotions. While the timestamps are no indicator when the retailer started, but it seemed that every hour I had at least by one or more.

Email Inbox

As I had to get on with the day of getting the house ready for company, I didn’t have a chance to write this post until after everything was put away, cleaned and after the guests left.

Having checked again, I received 40 different emails from retailers. This got me thinking not about standing in line on Black Friday, but if and how well I could do my shopping from my mobile phone. I’m not exactly wanted to brave the cold, then the mass of people elbowing their way to the items they have been pining for, and finally the extremely long lines to checkout and pay.

Black Friday Predictions

TechCrunch wrote that 26% of the $1.7B in online sales on Thanksgiving Day are from a mobile device (or about $442M). While the number is large, if you take into context this excerpt, we still have a long way to go in making mobile commerce, frictionless as on a desktop.

“But before you start thinking that mobile sounds like the way forward, note that IBM’s figures indicate an average conversion rate right now of just 2%, with desktop visits on average providing nearly double percentage points over mobile.”

Mobile Commerce Tests

So I decided to try a few retailers to see how they fair. I have both an Android and iOS device to see which eCommerce Teams did their due diligence for mobile.

What am I expecting? I am hoping at the very minimum, responsive design would be implemented and that even when I want to look at the product details, everything is well-formatted, photos are scaled and the shopping cart and checkout process are successful.

One item that I wanted to shop for is a set of folding saw horses for a few upcoming DIY home projects. I have some points from Sears from previous purchases so, let’s see if this would be successful.

Sears Black Friday

After clicking on the initial link, I tried to use the search feature as I didn’t want to navigate the site. For this Use Case, the Safari web browser is being used on an iPhone 6.

Sears Product Search
The predictive search is a nice UX feature, which is I wasn’t expecting.

Sears Product Search Fail
Unfortunately, I didn’t yield any results. This is part of the I become slowly disillusioned as the friction starts to set in with shopping from my phone.

I tried again with one of the predictive search choices and yielded a few more results. While there were items that looked interesting, perhaps because of the item that I was looking for, it wasn’t discounted heavily to make me purchase.

A rather interesting promotion is to actually order by phone on Black Friday during certain hours to receive an additional discount. I guess it’s still about getting up early to get the best deals. But at least I could do this from the comfort of my own home.

Bavarian Autosport


Black Friday is in full-swing with dozens of promotions to entice our dollars and earn our page views. But as many of us are viewing these emails via a mobile device, the shopping experience to convert us from shoppers to buyers is still leaving much to be desired — predictive search that works, uniform shopping that matches the desktop/laptop experience and an easy to checkout purchase workflow.

email, holidays, Mobile, mobile marketing, mobileslate, shopping