Formisimo captures behavioural data on online checkouts and forms, for this analysis we took anonymised, average data across e-commerce sites and their checkout processes. I wanted to explore the data from Black Friday 2016 and compare it to a normal* Friday, and Black Friday 2015. For the purpose of this article we have only used data for forms that have been active on all the dates we’ve analysed.
Checkout Traffic Levels
Our data shows that Black Friday brought an increase in traffic of 84% and that 2016 was 14% smaller than 2015.
What’s also interesting to see is the trend in device use. Our data has shown a drop in desktop with users moving to either tablet or mobile.
2015 was a completely different kettle of fish with Desktop hugely dominating.
Here’s the traffic volume by device showing the growth of mobile and tablet volumes from 2015 and the drop in traffic overall between the two Black Fridays; note that the device-proportions will look slightly off due to the Simpson’s Paradox.
Black Friday 2016 is great for conversion rates showing a 10.3% increase in conversion rates to a normal Friday, Black Friday 2015 having a conversion rate 16.5% lower than Black Friday 2016.
Of further interest in the 2015/2016 comparison is a look at conversion rate by device: key to 2015’s relatively poor performance is a low conversion rate on desktop. Coupled with that being the majority source of traffic shows that desktop was a problem in 2015 but is not so in 2016.
An important and complimentary metric to conversion rates that we love here at Formisimo is measuring the users who, after visiting the checkout page, actually start to complete the checkout. We’ve picked up on two very interesting trends this Black Friday:
1. The rate of visitors who start is significantly up for tablet and mobile but about the same for desktop
2. The conversion rate of starters is up on all devices, but less so on mobile.
Monitoring the amount of corrective activity, we know, is of vital performance to knowing how well your checkout is working and it’s interesting to see that the rate of correction goes up on both Black Fridays across all devices.
The time it takes
Another fascinating pattern that favours the mobile devices this Black Friday is the tendency to complete a form quicker than normal. We see this for tablet and mobile but not for desktop where the time taken to complete is actually longer than normal.
Things definitely change on Black Friday. Shoppers’ mind-sets are different to how they are normally and it’s informative to look at the data and see how this manifests. Users appear more determined to complete checkouts, despite the increased amount of annoying corrections. People shop less on desktop than usual but desktop still maintains the vast majority of traffic. Despite desktop domintating it doesn’t perform nearly as well as the other device types with tablet performing the best but getting the least amount of traffic. It’s also interesting to see how Black Friday this year is so different from last. Do we need to keep our wits about us or is Black Friday shrinking, we certainly had less traffic this time round…
We’ll provide the data and you decide.
* For this article we’ve defined a normal Friday using the data from the 4 Fridays leading up to Black Friday 2016, namely: 2016-11-18, 2016-11-11, 2016-11-04, 2016-10-28