Mobile, Tablets Lead Holiday Charge

Increases in online spending have been fueled by factors including m-commerce, tiered sale offerings and an upsurge in the use of social media platforms.

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Tory Burch’s tiered sales offer.

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Net-a-Porter’s mobile app.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

ShopStyle on Black Friday generated more than $2.3 million in sales for its partners, including Neiman Marcus, Shopbop and Net-a-porter — and it projects a 25 to 30 percent increase from the $1.2 million it drove in sales during Cyber Monday last year. Page views from Cyber Monday were up 38 percent, year-over-year, and the click-through rate also went up by 52 percent. Interestingly, the site reported that its strongest shopping days (per page views) occur after Christmas on Dec. 27 and 28, unlike others who report the weeks leading up to Christmas as the strongest.

At Net-a-porter’s discount counterpart The Outnet, sales from mobile and tablets increased by 10 times since last year’s Cyber Monday, the vast majority of that spike coming from tablet sales, which saw a 400 percent increase over last year. Itemwise, sweaters accounted for 25 percent of all tablet sales and nearly 33 percent of mobile sales, and the average mobile order was 6 percent higher for the day, according to Kari Albert, vice president of global sales and marketing at The Outnet. And at Net-a-porter’s men’s wear site, Mr Porter, orders placed through a mobile device were up 260 percent against normal Monday shopping, according to head of sales and marketing Mario Muttenthaler.

The growth of m-commerce aside, the most interesting e-commerce trend to emerge so far this holiday has been that of luxury brands introducing promotional tactics, according to Maureen Mullen, director of research and advisory at Luxury Lab, or L2 Think Tank. Brands such as Oscar de la Renta and YSL Beauty have traditionally not discounted.

“This just shows how much further these brands have come to really embracing their customers digitally,” Mullen said, noting that each offered a promotion in a way that’s very on-brand for each entity. For example, Oscar de la Renta’s social media personality, Oscar PR Girl — who generally doesn’t tweet about product — found a way to promote a handbag available exclusively on in a way that was appropriate for the brand’s high-end luxury customer, as well as her large following on a digital platform such as Twitter (where she has nearly 95,000 followers).

The rise of social media as a marketing tool in the fashion industry — where it’s commonplace for retailers and brands to garner followings in the mullions — is also impacting online shopping in a big way.

“Like anything else, it [social media] allows you to get your message so much faster and so much more dynamically, so you actually see analysts tracking Cyber Monday,” Mullen said. “What this does is generate more excitement around the day, and ultimately increase e-commerce sales.”

A survey conducted by Facebook the week of Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday revealed that 14 percent of users shared deals with their friends, with 20 percent of those under 25 sharing with friends. On Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, 24 and 27 percent of respondents said they planned to online shop on Cyber Monday — up from just over 20 percent on Nov. 22. Thirty-five percent of 35- to 44-year-olds surveyed on Nov. 26 said they planned to online shop Monday. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, users mentioning “Black Friday” on the social medium increased by seven times on Thursday (versus the days prior) and 29 percent of teen males and 21 percent of teen females between 13 and 17 said they shared Black Friday purchases with friends. The second-highest percentage occurred within the 18- to 24-year-old range, where 23 percent of males and 22 percent of females shared purchases.

Footwear brand Rocket Dog offered its more than 45,000 Facebook fans an exclusive deal on Cyber Monday, which resulted in 2,654 orders, according to Stylophane Interactive Agency, a firm that works with the brand. By using coupon code “Facebook10,” consumers were able to obtain an extra $10 off purchases (already on 50 percent off at for Cyber Monday) between 10 a.m. and midnight, and the brand received 189 transactions per hour. In addition to Facebook exclusives, many brands and retailers also used Facebook to cross-promote Cyber Monday deals on their branded Web sites and the social medium, such as Ann Taylor, Loft, Tory Burch and Express.

According to Macala Wright, founder of FashionablyMarketing.Me, brands offered exclusive deals on the medium that ranged between 20 and 40 percent off with free shipping, with the average discount clocking in at 25 percent.

“Because consumer spending was better than expected, you will continue to see brands run promotions until the last minute with a final push just before that last shipping day. Retailers are focused on sales this holiday in the midst of better spending than expected,” Wright said of the 105 pages surveyed by her firm, including J. Crew and Banana Republic.

Scott Silverman, co-founder and vice president of marketing at IFeelGoods and the veteran said to have coined the term “Cyber Monday” in 2005, told WWD that he’s confident in social media having the ability to “amplify” e-commerce deals because people will get excited and share them on Facebook and Twitter. When a retailer posts a promotion, all of its fans will see it and share it with their friends — increasing the message’s level of authenticity platform-wide.

And Charlie Graham, chief executive officer of Shop It to Me — a free, personal online shopper with over 4 million users whose model is strictly based on discounted merchandise or sales — believes that “tiered offers” were more widespread than ever this year.

“They are offered every year, but we saw more of a trend with it this year. The big reason is that everyone is now offering sales, so retailers are trying to find a way to have you spend more of your wallet with them. This is a good way to do it, instead of just having a standard discount. They want to give you an extra discount if you spend more,” Graham said. For example, offered consumers $30 off $100 orders, $60 off $200 orders and $100 off $300 orders. At Tory Burch’s site,, 20, 35 or 30 percent off was granted to shoppers who spent $250, $500 or $750. Similar deals were available at,, and


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