By Rick Kenney

With the Thanksgiving holiday last week, this year’s shopping season has officially begun. Over the course of Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, the number of orders edged up 12.4%. This shopping season’s spike was comparable to last year at 2.6 times the previous week’s order levels (up 155% week over week).

Overall, traffic was up 10.5% over last year. And Thanksgiving Eve is proving to be an emerging shopping day, as visits were up 18% and the number of orders was up 28% over last year.

Some other key findings:

Shoppers Flock to Tap: As we reported in “Growth on Tap” report, Tap devices (a phrase that refers to both smartphones and tablets, replacing the often ambiguous term ‘mobile’) are driving both order and visit growth. Visits from Tap devices increased 31%, while visits from computers were down 4%. Smartphones alone accounted for 36% of traffic, up 29% year-over-year, and even 7% higher than the same days last week.

Additionally, during the first few days of the holiday shopping season, Tap devices accounted for 75% of the growth in orders, and accounted for 30% of total orders. Conversion soared on smartphones, as conversion rates rose 24%, and smartphones drove 16% of total orders, up 58% over last year.

Buying at the 11th hour: Overall conversion rates on Black Friday were the highest at 11 a.m., when visits were also highest. Some other interesting time-of-day numbers from the start of the shopping season:

  • Smartphone visit share reached its highest traffic peak, 42%, on Thanksgiving at 5 p.m.
  • Thursday’s peak in orders was highest at 9 p.m.
  • Conversion rate on smartphones was highest at 9 p.m. on Black Friday

Stay tuned for a Cyber Monday recap, coming up tomorrow.

This Shopping Flash Report provides a snapshot of digital commerce metrics, focusing on the busy Christmas/Holiday Shopping Season. Demandware sourced data for this report from digital commerce sites transacting on the Demandware Commerce Cloud in the US, and which were live during last year’s holiday period. Times have been normalized to the shopper’s local time.