Digital Bytes: A very Black Friday for social media

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, social suffers dark times on Black Friday, mobile lights the way at Christmas and The Guardian and Grazia launch new mobile platforms…

A very Black Friday for social media

Social media generated less than 1% of total online sales on Black Friday, according to a new study conducted by IBM. Black Friday is the first day after Thanksgiving and it traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US. Social has proven a significant driver of sales in the past, but this year it found its stock fall, with Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube providing just 0.34% of referrals, while Twitter contributed a flat 0%. Despite this, consumers took to social media to talk about purchases they made and IBM claim that they voiced positive sentiment at a 3 to 1 ratio. Overall, online sales on Black Friday grew by 20.7% on last year, with mobile proving the most effective driver of traffic. Mobile browsing on retail sites rose to 24% (up 14.3% on last year) and sales went up 9.8% to 16%. More facts and stats about Black Friday can be seen on Mashable.

Mobile lights way at Christmas

There’s more good news for mobile browsing from the UK as it’s been predicted that consumers will make around £330m of purchases on their mobile devices in the run-up to Christmas. The research, which has been conducted by Deloitte, has also found that 10 per cent of instore sales will be influenced by customers’ use of smartphones, and all in all smartphones will have influenced around £3.5bn of sales by the end of the Christmas season. Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “As food prices continue to increase, we would expect general merchandise to be flat at best and very possibly experience a slight fall as consumers decide to save the Christmas dinner. However, this hides a more complex story. Increasingly, we are seeing examples of certain retailers performing strongly and others weakly within the same sector. Shoppers are responding to those retailers that combine the right products with exceptional customer service across all channels, dynamic and exciting online and mobile sites and a brand that they want to be associated with and invest in.”

Guardian launch new mobile site

Guardian News and Media has unveiled a new mobile site that is designed to accomodate all mobile devices and tablets seamlessly. Created on a new platform in-house, the site has been designed to offer an easier reading experience and features photo and video galleries prominently. Tanya Cordrey, chief digital office at Guardian News and Media, said: “As the use of mobiles and tablets continues to grow rapidly, so does the range of devices and screen sizes on which people are reading us. We want to ensure our readers have the best possible experience when looking at the Guardian website on any type of small tablet or mobile. Our new mobile site not only means that users will be able to reach our content faster with a refreshed design that automatically adapts to their device, but having rebuilt it from the ground up will also enable us to release new features, improvements and updates more often in response to user feedback. Our aim is to give our users the best experience and content no matter what type of device they’re using, and this website is a huge step towards that goal.”

Grazia unveil shoppable edition

Womens weekly magazine Grazia has launched an interactive edition that lets users buy items directly from its fashion pages. Available exclusively on Newsstand, the interactive edition includes a ‘Shop, Share and Save’ feature, with the save functionality allowing users to save content onto a wishlist. “Our readers expect so much more than a PDF of Grazia on the iPad and I’m thrilled to be able to offer them something fresh, useful and genuinely different to anything else out there,” Grazia Editor-in-chief Jane Bryton said. “Having the shop, share and save feature as our core function gives our readers instant Grazification – at their fingertips.” Boots and ShopStyle has already signed on as partners.

Speed up for increased sales

A fast website could make or break an online sale, according to a new infographic by SmartBear. The expected load time for a site is three seconds, but the average load time for retail websites is 10 seconds. This is 10% faster than the average in 2011, but still not enough to stop a decrease in revenue. Faster load time means greater revenue and the infographic estimates that if Amazon’s load time were to slow by just a second, it would cost the company $1.6bn in sales. More facts and stats can be seen here…