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Small and Mid-Sized Retailers See Largest Cyber Week Online Sales Ever

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Black Friday online sales this year topped $3 billion for the first time ever, hitting $3.34 billion, a 21.6% increase over the same day in 2015.

And this past Monday, online consumers toppled even that record –– spending a collective $3.39 billion, making it the largest online shopping event in history.

Mobile played a critical role on both days, generating $1.2 billion and $1.19 billion in sales respectively.

While these numbers are impressive, no one to date has looked specifically at how small and mid-sized businesses fared during the holiday rush.

Small and mid-sized businesses outnumber larger retailers in the U.S., represent nearly half of the private workforce and provide the backbone for economic stability and financial independence for countless families.

So, how well did these brands do Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday?

We’ve analyzed the data of tens of thousands of small and mid-sized businesses on the BigCommerce platform. We looked at total GMV processed and same store increase in orders year-over-year. Here is what we found.

The Biggest Selling Season Ever

This was the biggest Cyber Week ever for small and mid-size retailers. Merchants on BigCommerce for 15 months or more saw a 14.74% increase in gross merchandise value year-over-year, and a 14.74% in GMV per Store.

Please Note

We're happy to report that, for the third year in a row, BigCommerce provided 100% uptime during this critical selling period.

BigCommerce merchants saw the highest order volumes on Cyber Monday, with Black Friday coming in a close second.

The Rising Dominance of Mobile Shopping

Mobile shopping accounted for a meaningful portion of online purchases this year. Desktop users placed the greatest number of orders over mobile phone and tablet during Cyber Week:

  • 51.54% desktop (Vs 53.2% in 2015)
  • 38.76% mobile phone (Vs 36.1% in 2015)
  • 9.77% tablet (Vs 10.61% in 2015)

On a year over year basis, desktop and tablet orders declined slightly, cannibalized by mobile phone orders.

Device mix didn’t vary significantly from day to day. That said, Thanksgiving saw the highest portion of purchases from mobile devices (while people were traveling and visiting family), slowly moving over to computers and tablets as the week progressed. On Cyber Monday desktop use was greatest, as many people returned to work.

percent-of-orders-during-cyber-5-750

In terms of average order value, desktop continues to reign supreme at 1.5x that of mobile.

  • Desktop AOV: $116.72
  • Mobile AOV: $71.92
  • Tablet AOV: $82.17

aov-by-device-cyber-week-750

Device Type Showdown: iPhone v. Android

It’s the rivalry of our time. A friendly feud which can cost a user the ability to group text with all their friends and family.

For small and mid-sized retailers, mobile OS can also cost you actual revenue.

Our data showed a clear winner in terms of which visitor is worth more –– according to average order value.

On all the days of Cyber Five, the title of “Most Valuable Shopper” goes to Team iPhone.

  • Android AOV: $58.14
  • iPhone AOV: $70.40

android-vs-iphone-aov-during-cyber-week-750

Which States Have the Biggest Shoppers?

Now that we know small and mid-sized retailers are wildly successful across different devices during Cyber Week, that brings us to our next question: Who’s buying?

One thing we wanted to understand was which state bought the most on a per capita basis. In other words, who is the best at buying stuff online?

gmv-per-capita

The answer, as it turns out, is Wyoming.

The best five per capita shopper states are:

  • Wyoming
  • New Hampshire
  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Colorado

The Most Mobile Shoppers

Next, we wanted to know, which states place the highest percentage of orders on mobile.

most-mobile-orders

Mississippi takes the win on this one.

The top five states with the highest percentage of mobile orders are:

  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kentucky

Another Great Cyber Week in the Books

As we look back on our data and another great cyber week, what can merchants learn from this? How can we do even better next year?

From analyzing this data, a few insights emerge:

  • Optimize for the “under the table” shopper who’s taking a break from holiday festivities on their mobile device on Thanksgiving. While on Monday, optimize for the “shopping at work” audience, merchandising for a full-screen experience likely with comparison shopping.
  • Mobile and tablet usage are coming close to eclipsing desktop. Make sure you adapt everything you do –– from QA to merchandising to email –– to a multi-device world.
  • Don’t ignore shoppers outside of metropolitan areas; they have some of the highest values per capita and shop heavily on ecommerce sites.

Next Cyber Week should be even bigger. For now, let’s focus making the most of the final weeks of this year!

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Leave a Comment
  • Agree agree agree — but of course, in the case you did go to a physical store — platforms like Square will make sure you’re inventory is synced across offline and online software :) How nice!

  • Thanks, Diana! You’re right, it isn’t just physical products getting discounted this time of year. Store owners themselves can look around and save big now for any updates they plan to do in January.

  • Thanks for reading, @jeffklein3:disqus! Agree — mobile is the way forward, likely to only continue growing! With a brick and mortar, though, you can really hit on mobile, local SEO!

  • This Cyber Friday is craze, hard not to agree. December deals for web products are very impressing, too. Just check this offer from for all the themes templatemonster.com , I think it is just excellent for such a quality.

  • Great article Tracey. Very interesting info about mobile commerce, especially the geographic based data. As the the transition to mobile grows, this trend (the growth of online shopping) will only continue. Time is the killer feature. Save me time AND money? Why would I go to a physical store?

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