Thanksgiving: The Mobile Holiday

We may already be on the cusp of another holiday but our data team felt it might be worthwhile taking a very quick look back on Thanksgiving weekend and establishing just how the mobile app fits in to what is supposedly a family holiday - albeit with a well-known retail sidekick on “black F riday” and “Cyber Monday” in the following week.

With that in mind we took a representative sample of the hundreds of apps within the Swrve ‘stable’ and took a good look at engagement and monetization rates (where relevant) for users in North America (Thanksgiving being a holiday that to date has stubbornly refused to cross the Atlantic. That summed up to many, many millions of individuals over the holiday period and gave what we believe to be a pretty accurate indication of what went on.

In order to make meaningful comparisons, we compared Thanksgiving and Black Friday with the average performances of the four previous weeks. That made it easy to identify any uplift or lack of it.

Let’s start with the good news. Contrary to what might be expected, we don’t appear to spend Thanksgiving Day HIDING from our families on our various smartphones and tablets. But nevertheless, there is some increase in activity, with ‘time spent in app’ being up 5% on a typical Thursday. But hey - it is a holiday after all.

It also appeared we couldn’t wait for Cyber Friday. Mobile purchases were up a whopping 30% on previous Thursdays. But it was Friday that saw the real (and unsurprising) leaps in spend and the number of spenders. 45% more people than average made a purchase on mobile on the Friday, and between them those people spent 35% more than on a typical Friday. So those Cyber Friday campaigns and sales clearly had an effect!