L2 Benchmarks Luxury Retailers on Their Digital Innovation

L2 released its latest report, which included Branding Brand clients Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, and Kate Spade, who was also named a Genius for its consistent branding and innovation across channels

Today, L2 released its Digital IQ Index: Fashion 2015 report, which measures the digital presence and performance of 83 luxury brands in the U.S. According to the report, less than 10 brands drive 65% of the total traffic to the retailers' sites, including Branding Brand clients Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, and Kate Spade, who was also named a Genius for its consistent branding and innovation across channels.

Key Takeaways:

  • 37% of all luxury e-commerce sales are now made on a mobile device.
  • On average, 61% of all monthly fashion searches are completed on a smartphone or tablet.
  • 96% of the 83 retailers have mobile-optimized experiences in 2015, up from 74% in 2013.

L2's 7th annual report benchmarked the luxury brands in four categories: site and e-commerce, digital marketing, mobile and tablet, and social media.

Find the full report on L2.

Topics: Company Client

Last Week in Holiday Shopping: November 22-28 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Compared to the previous week:

  • Total visits increased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: +67%
    • Tablet: +55%
    • Desktop: +31%

  • Mobile device's share of total online visits increased:
    • Smartphone: +15%
    • Tablet: +9%

  • Revenue per visit increased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: +44%
    • Tablet: +29%
    • Desktop: +30%

  • Pageviews per visit increased:
    • Smartphone: +7%
    • Tablet: +6%
    • Desktop: +21%

 Compared to last week, mobile's share of total online visits increased 19% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

This Time Last Year: Cyber Monday 2014

Last year, a mobile shopper purchased $3,800 dining room furniture on Cyber Monday.

COMING SOON: Cyber Monday 2015 data 

For media inquiries, contact press@brandingbrand.com.

View the Cyber Monday 2014 report.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

[VIDEO] Black Friday 2015: Day in Review

Black Friday Highlights:

  • Smartphone shoppers generated 20% of total online revenue.
  • The most expensive smartphone order was an air compressor for $9,999.
  • Smartphones saw a 37% year-over-year increase in conversion.
 
 
 
 
 
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Wistia video thumbnail - Black Friday 2015
 

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Holiday 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

We discovered what people plan to browse and buying during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Check out what we found in the survey results. 

DOWNLOAD THE RESULTS

Cyber Five 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

People who purchased holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday revealed what they thought of their online and in-store experiences. Take a look at the survey highlights to find out how shoppers felt about this year's Cyber Five.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

Black Friday 2015: Smartphone Shoppers Generated 20% of All Online Revenue [INFOGRAPHIC]

Smartphone Shoppers Generated 20% of All Online Revenue

America’s five-day shopping spree continued on Black Friday with smartphone shoppers generating 20% of total online revenue, a 46% year-over-year increase. 69% of smartphone dollars were generated by iPhones, and 31% was produced by Android-enabled brands. Add in tablets, and mobile devices produced one-third of total online revenue this Black Friday.

Click here to watch the Black Friday video. Take a look at the Black Friday video!

Big Spending on Mobile
Shoppers spent some serious cash using mobile devices on Black Friday. One willing customer used a smartphone to buy an air compressor for $9,999, and another person bought 14 watches, for a total of $5,149, on a tablet. Ironically, someone bought 16 desktop computers, for a total of $4,639, on a smartphone.

Mobile Shoppers Browsed and Bought Early
In each time zone across the U.S., both mobile visits and revenue peaked at 9 a.m. On average, shoppers from West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Vermont, and Kentucky were the biggest spenders.

More Purchases on Mobile
Unlike recent years, when customers researched on mobile and bought in-store or on desktop, more shoppers made their purchases on mobile sites, leading to a 25% increase in conversion from 2014. Smartphones saw a 37% year-over-year increase in conversion, while tablets saw a 17% year-over-year increase.

Visits on Mobile
Overall, 61% of total online visits to retailer sites came from mobile devices, an 11% year-over-year increase. Of all total online visits, smartphones generated 49% (64% iPhone; 36% Android), and tablets produced 12% (85% iPad; 15% Android).

Additional reports on Cyber Weekend and the holiday shopping season will be released throughout the week at blog.brandingbrand.com.

Data Used: Branding Brand analyzed a total of 10,064,833 visits across a sample of 50 U.S. retailer sites on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.

Click here to watch the Black Friday video.

Holiday 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

We discovered what people plan to browse and buying during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Check out what we found in the survey results. 

DOWNLOAD THE RESULTS

Cyber Five 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

People who purchased holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday revealed what they thought of their online and in-store experiences. Take a look at the survey highlights to find out how shoppers felt about this year's Cyber Five.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

[VIDEO] Thanksgiving 2015: Day in Review

Thanksgiving 2015 Highlights:

  • Smartphone shoppers generated 50% of total online visits.
  • Smartphone conversion experienced a 42% year-over-year increase.
  • Nearly 1 in every 4 dollars spent online occurred on smartphones.
  • Compared to Thanksgiving 2014, smartphone's share of total online visits increased 26%, and smartphone's share of total online revenue increased 52%.
 
 
 
 
 
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Holiday 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

We discovered what people plan to browse and buying during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Check out what we found in the survey results. 

DOWNLOAD THE RESULTS

Cyber Five 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

People who purchased holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday revealed what they thought of their online and in-store experiences. Take a look at the survey highlights to find out how shoppers felt about this year's Cyber Five.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

Thanksgiving 2015: Smartphone Shoppers Made Up Half of All Online Visitors [INFOGRAPHIC]

Smartphone Shoppers Made Up Half of All Online Visitors

Digital shoppers spent less time worrying about which stores were open on Thanksgiving, and more time shopping on their phones and tablets. Mobile shoppers made up 63% of total online visits to retail sites. 50% of those visits occurred on smartphones (64% iOS; 36% Android), and 13% came from tablets (84% iOS; 16% Android).  

“More people are gravitating to the comfort and convenience of mobile shopping,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand, a digital commerce platform used by over 200 retail clients in industries including apparel, health and beauty, and sporting goods. “Retailers are encouraging extended, multi-day shopping sprees because people can shop from anywhere, and online stores never close.”

Click here to watch the Thanksgiving video. Check out the Thanksgiving video!

More Purchases on Mobile 
Unlike recent years, when customers researched on mobile and bought in-store or on desktop, more shoppers made their purchases on mobile sites, leading to a 25% increase in conversion from 2014. Smartphones saw a 42% year-over-year increase in conversion, while tablets saw a 6% year-over-year increase.

240 Body Lotions 
Shoppers aren’t afraid to order in bulk using mobile devices. One person’s Turkey Day order, placed on a smartphone, included 240 body lotions. Another included 85 glass candy dishes.

Smartphone Shoppers, and West Virginia, No. 1
Smartphone shoppers were more likely to make a purchase than those on tablets. Nearly one in every four dollars spent online occurred on smartphones. On average, mobile shoppers from West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa were the biggest spenders.

Consumers Purchased by Day, Browsed by Night
In each time zone across the U.S., mobile revenue peaked at 11 a.m., and mobile visits peaked at 8 p.m., revealing that mobile shoppers purchased in the morning and browsed early Black Friday deals after dinner.

Additional reports on Cyber Weekend and the holiday shopping season will be released throughout the week at blog.brandingbrand.com.

Take a look at the Thanksgiving 2015 video.

Data Used: Branding Brand analyzed a total of 7,432,925 visits across a sample of 50 U.S. retailer sites on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

Click here to watch the Thanksgiving video.


Holiday 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

We discovered what people plan to browse and buying during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Check out what we found in the survey results. 

DOWNLOAD THE RESULTS

Cyber Five 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

People who purchased holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday revealed what they thought of their online and in-store experiences. Take a look at the survey highlights to find out how shoppers felt about this year's Cyber Five.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

This Time Last Year: Black Friday 2014

Last year, a mobile shopper purchased a $5,300 stainless steel watch on Black Friday.

COMING SOON: Black Friday 2015 data 

For media inquiries, contact press@brandingbrand.com.

View the Black Friday 2014 report.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

This Time Last Year: Thanksgiving Day 2014

Last year, a mobile shopper purchased a $7,500 HD TV on Thanksgiving Day.

COMING SOON: Thanksgiving Day 2015 data 

For media inquiries, contact press@brandingbrand.com.

View the Thanksgiving Day 2014 report.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

Test Your Optimization IQ: Button Placement in Cart

Test Your Optimization IQ

We performed an A/B test on an apparel and accessories retailer's cart page:

  • Test A: "Continue Shopping" button is at the top of the page; "Checkout" button is at the bottom of the page
  • Test B: "Continue Shopping" and "Checkout" buttons are at the top and bottom of the page

Can you guess which test encouraged users to continue to checkout?

Select a test to reveal the winner:

Test A: "Continue Shopping" button is at the top of the page; "Checkout" button is at the bottom of the pageTest B: "Continue Shopping" and "Checkout" buttons are at the top and bottom of the page

Topics: Design Solutions

Early Sales Are the Hottest Holiday 2015 Trend

E-Commerce retailers recognize that the Cyber 5 (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) are huge drivers of site traffic and revenue. Even though early November is not typically in the spotlight for holiday shopping, it is arguably just as important because this is when online shoppers are doing research and favoriting items in anticipation of holiday sales.

Retailers continue to offer online-only discounts earlier and earlier, and these campaigns are driving huge growth this month compared to prior years.

Daily Visits vs. Pages Per Visit
Daily visits are typically on the rise throughout the holiday season and tend to drop off after Boxing Day on December 26. Early November is no exception to this trend. In 2014, visits sharply increased from November 1-26.

Pages viewed per visit show the most pronounced increase during November, indicating that people are also browsing more and more as Thanksgiving approaches. However, the increase in visits doesn’t correspond with an increase in conversion, suggesting that people are researching products on mobile devices in anticipation of holiday sales.

HolidaySales_VisitsPPV.png

In 2015, both average daily visits and pages viewed per visit started off higher than 2014, which was not unexpected as year-over-year e-commerce visits grow and mobile visits outpace desktop. The trendline this month is much steeper than 2014, reflecting the popularity of early discounts.

Additionally, December 22-24 experienced the lowest pages per visit, but mobile store locator usage increased 150%. Although store locator pageviews are extremely valuable to retailers, they are generally single-page views and don’t convert digitally. Unless early holiday sales significantly impact the rate of last-minute shopping, we’re likely to see this trend occur this year.

Cart vs. Checkout
Last year, conversion was highest during the Cyber 5 and much higher than average from early-to-mid December. The rate at which visitors added items to cart increased from October to December but showed the most dramatic rate of increase throughout November, excluding Thanksgiving through November 30 so as not to skew the trendline.

On the other hand, cart-to-checkout rate plummeted in November as the holidays drew closer. This strongly indicates that shoppers were using the mobile cart to save items to purchase at a later date either during holiday sales or in the store.

HolidaySales_CartCheckout.png

In 2015, all metrics are starting off higher, but 2015’s early sales are definitely affecting shopping trends and having a measurable impact on revenue, and we’re seeing that add-to-cart rate and conversion are steadily on the rise. We’ll be monitoring whether or not early sales have any additional impact during the cyber shopping weekend or December shopping.

Similar to 2014, add-to-cart rate is still outpacing conversion, and cart-to-checkout rate is somewhat low, indicating shoppers are still using their carts to save items in anticipation of Cyber Five discounts. In terms of visits and conversion, we predict Cyber Monday will still be the biggest e-retail day, followed by Black Friday and Thanksgiving.

Topics: Trends Holiday

New Launch: The Golf Warehouse Smartphone Site

The Golf Warehouse
Round of applause for The Golf Warehouse! TGW launched their mobile site just in time for Black Friday. Now you can browse deals on-the-go for the golf lover in your life.
 
Curious about the value of a mobile site? Check out our Q3 2015 Mobile Commerce Trends report or talk to us today for a free assessment.

Contact Us
Topics: Company Client

Last Week in Holiday Shopping: November 15-21 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Compared to the previous week:

  • Total visits increased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: +6%
    • Tablet: +10%
    • Desktop: +25%

  • Revenue per visit increased approximately 12% across all devices because many retailers had pre-holiday sales. 

  • On-site search use increased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: +4%
    • Tablet: +4%
    • Desktop: +6%

 

Compared to the previous week, revenue per visit increased approximately 12% across all devices because many retailers had pre-holiday sales.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

New Launch: RadioShack Responsive Site

RadioShack
Congrats to RadioShack, who recently launched a fully-responsive e-commerce site. Now, you can get the latest electronics on any device, wherever you are this holiday.
 
Want to build or optimize a responsive site of your own? We want to help!

Contact Us
Topics: Company Client

This Week at Branding Brand: November 14-20

We started hanging new decor around the office and admired the view of downtown Pittsburgh.

Brands Brands Brands #neonsign #officeart

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The days are getting shorter, but #Pittsburgh wears it well. #sunset #WinterIsComing

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Topics: Company

10 Things Every Retail App Needs to Have

Native commerce apps are the key to breaking down the barriers between brick-and-mortar and digital. Start targeting new and loyal customers with these 10 features.

Whether you like it or not, the mobile experience you provide will define your brand in 2016. Embrace it. It’s the key to breaking down the barriers between brick-and-mortar and digital, but building an app isn’t for the faint of heart.

Shoppers are looking for 3 basic necessities in a great app: ease, convenience, and speed. That sounds easy enough, but you also have to build something that fits into your customers’ lifestyle and create something that they will love to use.

At Branding Brand, we recommend building a native commerce app. Native apps integrate built-in device and operating system functionality to solve all of your needs from building a relationship with your customers to connecting the online and in-store experience.

Native apps integrate built-in device and operating system functionality and run faster than a hybrid or “wrapper” app. These apps also boost brand loyalty and encourage engagement because they use account information to personalize the shopping flow and condense checkout, which ultimately increasing revenue per visit and conversion.

In a recent consumer survey, we found that 74% of shoppers expect to use an app for purchasing products, so before you pull out all of the bells and whistles for your app, focus on making an outstanding and easy-to-use native app.

You can start targeting new and loyal customers with these 10 features:

Shop
Provide easy access to the full product catalog and a seamless checkout.

Scan
Enhance the customer in-store experience with product details, reviews, and more.

Account
Provide access to order tracking, purchase history, wishlist, and other important information.

Touch ID
Allow users to access their personal accounts or authorize a purchase easily and securely.

Offers
Customize mobile-specific promotions for the app. Walmart recently experienced a 402% year-over-year increase in unique visitors after leveraging in-store coupons.

Stores
Display a map, directions, store details, and a tap-to-call phone number.

Push Notifications
Segment users based on a variety of app interactions and encourage re-engagement. Be prepared to present customers with a good reason why they should opt in.

Geolocation
Allow users to find stores based on their location or target shoppers near to a brick-and-mortar store to stop in and check out the newest arrivals.

Analytics
Track conversion, push notification engagement, and more using popular analytics tools.

Crash Reports
Receive automated crash reporting in real time (and 24/7 technical support with Branding Brand). 

Before you begin, check out what 1,000 shoppers had to say about downloading and using retail apps.
Download the report.

Topics: Solutions Apps

How to Prepare for the Year of the App in 2016

Apps_Stage.png

As we enter what Forrester calls the “Age of the Customer,” mobile apps will help retailers shift from their “in-store vs. online” mindset to a truly omnichannel shopping experience. In fact, 69% of companies agree that they are focusing on the cross-device customer experience, according to Adobe and EConsultancy.

Mobile shopping has officially made a name for itself. (There’s even an app category now.) Smartphone and tablet users alike are well-aware of the benefits of mobile apps. The average user spends 19x more time in apps than browsing the mobile web each month.

Even though we witness shoppers become increasingly more comfortable purchasing on mobile devices each month, many mobile customers feel more secure shopping and storing their personal information in an app.

Apps also help to drive engagement and boost brand loyalty by providing a unique and personalized shopping experience. Compared to mobile sites, apps frequently load faster; have higher revenue per visit; and can connect the online and offline customer journey through wearables and in-store digitization, like beacons.

However, apps are far from a “set it and forget it” project. They must be nurtured, monitored, and constantly updated from start to finish.

To prepare for your upcoming app launch, you need to:

  • Identify your stakeholders.
  • Research competitor strategies to assess trends.
  • Analyze your own data to dictate functionality and OS (Android and/or iOS).
  • Define personas and use cases for the app.
  • Determine the goal and how you’ll measure its success.
  • Build out the scope and prioritize it into phases.
  • Assess your resources and capabilities along with third parties.

After you implement your app, you’ll need to promote it, analyze its performance, and optimize. You might even find that your original app plan changes slightly as new technology is introduced and you learn more about how your customers use the app and what they want from it.

Don’t wait to start building an app that has all the bells and whistles you want to include.

Building a foundational app is the key to starting your app strategy, but it’s critical to have long-term goals and a roadmap in place long before you begin development. Whether it’s as simple as integrating existing customers’ loyalty or brand credit card into their mobile wallets or as intricate as implementing an in-store product finder, you need to provide something that’s immediately valuable to customers.

If you want to talk strategy or get to work on building an app of your own, we’re here to help.

Find out how shoppers expect to use apps in our consumer survey.
Download the report.

Topics: Solutions Apps

Last Week in Holiday Shopping: November 8-14 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Compared to the previous week:

  • Total visits continued to increase on smartphones but decreased on tablets and desktops:
    • Smartphone: +6%
    • Tablet: -10%
    • Desktop: -9%

  • Revenue per visit increased 8% across all devices.

  • On-site search use increased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: +4%
    • Tablet: +4%
    • Desktop: +6%

 Compared to the previous week, on-site search use increased across all devices.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

This Week at Branding Brand: November 8-13

We tried out our new pool table, celebrated Veterans' Day, and appreciated Pittsburgh's fall foliage.

Shane's getting in some practice for the BB Billiards Tournament. #billiards #BranderLife

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We celebrate all who have proudly served our country. Thank you! #veteransday #thankyouveterans

A photo posted by Branding Brand (@brandingbrand) on


#Autumn has arrived in #Pittsburgh! #CityOfBridges

A photo posted by Branding Brand (@brandingbrand) on

Topics: Company

69% of All Online 2015 Singles' Day Sales Were Mobile

Mobile devices generated 69% of Alibaba's sales on Singles' Day 2015.

In the largest online sale in history, Alibaba generated $14.3 billion during its annual Singles' Day sale yesterday—a 54% year-over-year increase, beating its previous record of $9.3 billion last year. According to the retailer, 69% of the day's total online sales were made on mobile devices.

In the first 90 minutes alone, the retail giant sold over $5 billion in merchandise, with mobile devices generating 72% of those sales. To put that into perspective, Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday 2014 generated $6.6 billion over the course of five days.

Our data also showed that smartphones thrived yesterday. Compared to an average day, 63 U.S.-based retailer sites running on our platform experienced a 42% increase in traffic and a 205% increase in revenue from Chinese shoppers. iPhones were responsible for 92% of total smartphone revenue.

If Singles' Day is any sign that customers becoming more comfortable shopping on mobile devices, U.S. retailers are in for a huge mobile holiday season this year.

 

Topics: Trends Holiday

Test Your Optimization IQ: "Continue Shopping" Button

Test Your Optimization IQ

We performed an A/B test on a sports merchandise retailer's cart page:

  • Test A: "Continue Shopping" button is visible
  • Test B: "Continue Shopping" button removed

Can you guess which test encouraged users to continue to checkout?

Select a test to reveal the winner:

Test A: "Continue Shopping" button is visibleTest B: "Continue Shopping" button removed

Topics: Design Solutions

Gift Cards Are the Go-To Gifts of Last-Minute Shoppers

Gift card sales surpassed $124 billion in 2014, and that number is expected to grow steadily at 5% per year. Online gift card purchases have grown at an even higher rate. In 2014, 34% of people surveyed said they purchased a gift card online, up from 26% in 2013.

According to a study of 10 e-retailers who sold only plastic gift cards (not e-gift cards), we found four important trends from Holiday 2014 that you should remember this year:

1. Shoppers prefer buying gift cards on mobile devices. 

From Thanksgiving Day until New Year's Eve 2014desktop shoppers were responsible for 80% of total online revenue but only 75% of total gift card revenue

Shoppers prefer buying gift cards on mobile devices.

2. Shoppers are more likely to purchase more than one gift card on a smartphone.

While more gift cards are purchased on a smartphone or tablet, shoppers are more likely to purchase more than one gift card on smartphones than any other device.

Shoppers are more likely to purchase more than one gift card on a smartphone.

3. $100 gift cards are the most popular.

Although the number of gift cards purchased varies by device, most online shoppers purchase $100 gift cards regardless of shopping on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

$100 gift cards are the most popular.

4. Gift card purchases surge mid-to-late December.

The majority of gift card revenue was earned the week of December 18, indicating gift cards are last-minute purchases. This trend is seen most strongly on smartphones.

Gift card purchases surge mid-to-late December.

Topics: Trends Holiday

Last Week in Holiday Shopping: November 1-7 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Compared to the previous week:

  • Total visits increased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: +8%
    • Tablet: +9%
    • Desktop: +11%

  • On-site search use decreased across all devices:
    • Smartphone: -13%
    • Tablet: -9%
    • Desktop: -11%

  • Smartphone visitors were 2% more likely to use store locator.

 

Compared to the previous week, visits increased across all devices, and smartphone visitors were more likely to use store locator.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

Holiday Shoppers Drove 25% of Last Year's Smartphone Revenue

Although the 35 days from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Eve only make up 9.5% days in a year, nearly half of the 50 clients surveyed earned at least a quarter of their annual smartphone revenue between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve 2014. One retailer earned as much as 49% of their annual smartphone revenue during this time.

One retailer earned as much as 49% of their annual smartphone revenue between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve in 2014.

The average percentage of annual smartphone revenue earned varied across industries:

  • Sporting goods retailers earned 32% of annual smartphone revenue
  • Apparel and accessories retailers earned 23% of annual smartphone revenue
  • Home goods retailers earned 18% of annual smartphone revenue

Smartphone visits rise over the holidays as well but not nearly as much as revenue. More visitors are coming to the site, but the average visitor has a much greater intent to buy than the rest of the year.

More visitors are coming to the site, but the average visitor has a much greater intent to buy than the rest of the year.

The holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Not surprisingly, the Cyber 5 generate the most revenue as a percentage of holiday revenue. These five days were responsible for 20% of one retailer's annual smartphone revenue.

On average, Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day of Holiday 2014, followed by Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Although most smartphone visits occurred on Black Friday, Cyber Monday's deals produced the most revenue.

Although most smartphone visits occurred on Black Friday, Cyber Monday's deals produced the most revenue.

It's crucial that your site is prepared for the holiday shopping season before Thanksgiving. Holiday 2015 is expected to be mobile's strongest retail year yet.

Compared to 2014, this year's biggest change is the arrival of iOS 9 and the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. By Black Friday, approximately half of all smartphone shoppers will be using iOS 9. If you're a retailer making 50% of your annual smartphone revenue between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, 25% of your 2015 smartphone revenue will be produced by iOS 9 users (and their ad blockers).

Make sure you're ready for the holiday, and check out last year's most successful holiday shopping day trends to get ready for this year:

Topics: Trends Holiday

This Week at Branding Brand: October 31 - November 6

Bergen was named our dog of the month, our Chief Revenue Officer Jared Horowitz showed off our New York office, and we started optimizing our Pittsburgh headquarters.


Greetings from the BB #NewYork office! #BranderLife @mr_horowitz

A photo posted by Branding Brand (@brandingbrand) on


Big changes at BB HQ! #optimization #officespace

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Topics: Company

A Look Back at Last Year's Holiday Shopping Trends

During a typical week, Sundays and Mondays tend to be customers' favorite days to complete their online shopping. For holidays, shopping trends change. Naturally, smartphones, tablets, and desktops all experienced higher than average traffic from November 1 - December 31, 2014, especially beginning on Thanksgiving Day (November 27).

Smartphone visits surpassed desktop in the weekends after the Cyber 5.

In order of largest traffic and revenue generated, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving were the biggest shopping days of the year. During the three weekends prior to Thanksgiving, smartphone visits matched desktop visits, and after Cyber Monday, smartphone traffic surpassed desktop during the three following weekends. From December 25 - December 28, more shoppers visited retail sites on smartphones than any other device.

After the big online shopping weekend between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, non-mobile devices experienced the majority of holiday visits on Tuesday, December 16; Monday, December 15; and Monday, December 8. Smartphone visits spiked over the weekends but didn't see the same increase in revenue, indicating that shoppers were in store and cross-referencing mobile commerce sites. Boxing Day on December 26 experienced a jump in visits and revenue, which was much more noticeable on mobile devices.

Smartphone and desktop traffic matched on Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2014.

Black Friday and Thanksgiving saw a disproportionately higher share of smartphone visits compared to the average day in 2014. In contrast, the majority of Cyber Monday visits and revenue occurred on non-mobile devices, particularly during the 9-to-5 workday.

View the recap for Holiday 2014.

Topics: Trends Report Holiday

20 Hot Tips Before Code Freeze

Time is running out to make any major changes to your e-commerce sites and apps. These 20 tips will help you have a successful holiday shopping season before your team heads into code freeze.

1. Test your site for mobile friendliness.
We all remember Mobilegeddon. It's simple to find out if your site is mobile friendly and how you can provide a better experience with Google's Mobile-Friendly tool.

2. Test high-traffic pages.
Analyze your most popular pages to make sure the user experience is the best it can be on all devices. Ensure the text is readable and links, form fields, and buttons are easy-to-find and easily tappable. Look at our guide to find out what shoppers want.

3. Make sure your site is fast.
It's no secret that fast sites perform better. Slow sites negatively result in lower pageviews and higher bounce and exit rates. Site speed also indirectly affects conversion: the more pages a shopper views, the the more likely they are to purchase. Download our white paper to understand how you can benchmark your performance with page load time.

4. Design your error pages well.
More than 1 in 4 shoppers will abandon your site for a better-performing site if they encounter an error. Give your error page some personality, and provide shoppers with alternative ways to place an order. 

Test your site with ad blockers.


5. Test your site with ad blockers.
With the recent launch of popular ad blockers and the fast adoption of iOS 9, it's crucial to test how these affect your customer experience. Here's a list of what Crystal, Purify, Blockr, and 1Blocker affect.

6. Prominently display holiday shipping messaging.
Let customers know if you have a cutoff date for holiday shipping with a message like, "12/18 is the last day for free shipping before Xmas." 

7. Test CMS banners and promotions.
Make sure that your images look great on every device and link to the appropriate content.

Display promo codes in a global banner.

8. Display promo codes in a global banner.
If you have discount codes, create a global banner that reminds customers throughout their shopping experience. 

9. Test promo code functionality.
Discounts excite shoppers. Don't disappoint your customers if they expect to use a promo code for a discount on products or shipping.


10. Prioritize mobile when designing emails.
The number of emails opened on mobile devices is on the rise. Last year, 13% of all smartphone visits arrived from email, and 17% of total smartphone visits arrived from email last quarter. Make sure the font size is readable, be concise with your content, and have a clear call-to-action.

Promote your app with a smart banner.

11. Promote your app with a smart banner.
Smart banners help drive traffic to your app. Be sure to follow the mobile-friendly guidelines or your SEO might suffer.

12. Test deep links.
Links from email blasts and banners should direct the user to a specific landing page, not the homepage.

13. Be sure store locator works.
Shoppers will be out in full force this holiday season. Help them find you by testing out your store locator functionality. 

14. Display holiday hours on the store locator page.
If you're changing your hours for the holidays, update your store locator page accordingly.

15. Make sure your HTTPS certificates are up-to-date.
Without an active HTTPS certificate, shoppers won't be able to place an order.

Test all checkout paths.

16. Test all checkout paths.
Chances are that you have multiple ways users can check out on your site or app, including checking out as a guest or logged in; paying with a credit card or PayPal; and shipping to the billing address or a different one. Consider implementing daily automated checkouts.

17. Perform at least one round of security testing.
Secure experiences make shoppers feel at ease when purchasing. If you don't host your own site or app, your provider probably has you covered.

18. Analyze last year’s efforts as a starting point for holiday marketing.
Understanding traffic and revenue trends from past holidays helps in planning timely and relevant communication to your customers. Take a look at our Holiday 2014 wrap-up or cross-channel shopping trends

19. Track visits from multiple traffic sources.
Social and referral traffic typically results in the highest bounces from shoppers on any device. Optimize your conversion for any type of traffic source.

Set up alerts and reporting for uptime.


20. Set up alerts and reporting for uptime.
Set up notifications to inform your team about low revenue to easily monitor the uptime of your digital solutions.

Topics: Trends Holiday

[INFOGRAPHIC] October 2015 Online Shopping Trends

Although tablets are mostly used on weeknights and weekends, online shoppers spent more time shopping on sites using a tablet than any other device in October, and on average, Android users were on sites longer than iOS users.

Other notable October 2015 trends include: 

  • Mobile devices generated 54% of total online visits and 30% of total online revenue.
  • One client saw nearly 3 out of 4 visitors arriving from a mobile device.
  • New site visitors accounted for more than half of total online visits and revenue.

October 2015 Online Shopping Trends

 

Topics: Trends Report