Election Day didn’t distract online, mobile shoppers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite long lines at the polls, Americans still made time to shop online during Election Day — especially via smartphone.

This was according to new data from Adobe Digital Insights, which revealed that total online sales on Election Day came in at $1.48 billion. This was 13.2% year-over-year growth, which is in line with growth through the first few days in November. It also indicates that Election Day had little to no impact on online shopping behavior.

With digital shoppers headed to the polls, sales via smartphones spiked on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Mobile accounted for 25.1% of all sales, up 28.3% versus last year. As shoppers increasingly made purchases via mobile devices on Election Day, these sales drove 51.6% of visits and 32.6% of revenue. Smartphones led the way for mobile at 44.3% of visits and 25.1% of revenue.

Meanwhile, average order volume (AOV) was up slightly for Election Day compared to last year at $139, a 4% increase year-over-year. Similarly, paid search was the top promotion driver, making up 22.2% of sales on Election Day. Email was 18.0% of sales, and shopper helper sites were 5.4%. Sales coming from social networks made up 1.7% of overall sales.

While there were long waits at some polling locations, it was this news “distraction” that arguably had the greatest impact on the day, with visits to news-related sites spiking 311% vs. an average day in October. This could be because consumers needed the ability to log in remotely while they cast their vote, or used it as a search-and-shop device while accessing a second screen to consumer news and information, the data revealed.

When looking at all six days in November leading up to Election Day (Nov. 1 – Nov. 6), online spending topped $1 billion. Growth is slightly below predictions at 12.7%, but well within expectations for these early dates in the season.

“Election Day, while providing distractions in the form of news coverage and voting delays, merely drove consumers to source new ways to shop while keeping track of election results,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights. “Smartphone usage and news site access went up, prompting shoppers to turn to multi-screen or multi-device methods to continue searching and shopping. Predictions of a record-breaking retail season remain on track.”


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