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I just bought myself an early Christmas present.
See, I recently took up the sport of skeet shooting, and I want to get better. So over the Thanksgiving weekend, I bought a two-hour instructional video.
The process couldn't have been any easier. I sat at the dining room table on Black Friday – the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season – with my iPad. I went to the website, ordered the video, and paid for it using a credit card, all in a matter of minutes.
My purchase may have been unique, but it was hardly isolated. Fact is, online and mobile sales soared on Black Friday. That's critical because, as online shopping grows, these stats are now serving as a snapshot of our economic health.
Consider that Adobe Analytics says Black Friday alone accounted for $6.2 billion in online sales, up 23% from a year ago. Some 33.5% came from mobile phones and 10% from tablets.
That means mobile commerce accounted for nearly half of all e-commerce orders for this shopping bonanza.
With that in mind, let's dig into a great way to tap the fast-moving world of mobile commerce.
It's a trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
So check it out…
Sales Go Mobile
As great as Black Friday was, Cyber Monday did even better. Adobe Analytics says online sales that day rose 19.3% to a record $7.9 billion, with mobile transactions climbing some 55% higher than last year.
From the standpoint of broad economic health, I believe the mobile sales numbers are nothing short of awesome. I say that because handhelds are extending commerce well beyond E-Commerce King Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
Don't get me wrong, I'm still an Amazon bull. But I think that a great season for brick-and-mortar stores shows what I have been reminding you for some time now – the U.S. economy is in overall great shape.
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Consider that Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) now expects to do roughly $1 billion in mobile sales this year, much of it during the crucial holiday season. Over the last couple of years, the vaunted retailer has adopted several initiatives designed to pump up sales through handhelds.
Other retailers are joining in as well. Analysts at Sensor Tower say that this year's Black Friday saw the top 10 mobile shopping apps add roughly 500,000 first-time users, up 16.3% from last year.
Of course, with 115,000 downloads, Amazon came in first. But Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) came in second with 95,000 downloads. That represented a 39.7% increase from a year ago. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) came in third, with 62,000 new users.
To be sure, online sales are growing four times as fast as brick-and-mortar sales. But mobile commerce sales are growing up to 10 times faster than standard retail.
The Best Way to Play Mobile Commerce
No wonder merchants like Walmart, Macy's, and Target have beefed up the mobile experience. Many of these apps allow buyers to order on a mobile device and then drive to the store to pick up the item.
Add it all up and you can see that the red-hot trend of mobile commerce is moving in many directions, all at the same time.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.