Last year $1.73B or 39% of “Black Friday” sales happened the day before, on Thanksgiving Day itself. The remaining $2.72B in sales occurred on Black Friday. According to Adobe, mobile accounted for $1.5B of the $4.45B in sales, about 34% of the total. Over 74 million people will shop on those two days [1], spending an average of $60 per person.

In our recent data report, we calculated the impact of app crashes on both “hard churn” (basically losing customers) as well as the impact that crashes have on customers returning the next day. For Black Friday 2016 this is an interesting exercise. If we assume that Black Friday shoppers generally look for deals the day before to buy on Black Friday itself, we can calculate the amount of money retailers could potentially lose because of poor app performance.

retention-shopping

The best case scenario is that an app experiences 0 crashes. Even then only about 80% of consumers will return the next day. That number falls to 55% as the crash rate for an individual approaches 100%. Which means if they load the app once and it crashes once, then only 55% of those users will return the next day. Below, we graph the user crash rate distribution for all consumers that experienced a crash. This data is also from our report:

crash-rate-distribution

If we assume the worst case scenario, every retail app user experiences at least one crash the day before Black Friday (with users experiencing crashes in the manner described by the above graph), we can expect the following to happen:

  1. About 5M people will abandon Black Friday shopping (⅓ of mobile shoppers)
  2. This represents almost $300M in lost revenue ($299,875,140.90 to be exact)
  3. At least 700,000 people will never return to the aforementioned apps

We of course expect better performance from shopping apps, but a fun exercise nevertheless to consider the potential consequences of crashes.

Conclusion

The total 2015 mobile spend on Black Friday was $2.72B * 34% = $925M. This came from over 15M mobile shoppers. A recent report by PWC says that mobile shopping is set to grow by 25 percent this year. This is great news for those in the space but it only increases the need to invest in performance and user experience tools for the holiday season.

How we calculated this number

Based on 2015 data: 15M mobile black friday shoppers, $60 spend / person
Leveraging data from our recent report:

black-friday-2016-churn-calc
[1] https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-black-friday-3305710
[2] http://www.pwc.com/us/en/press-releases/2016/pwc-holiday-shopping-outlook-press-release.html