IBM: Mobile Traffic Soars in Holiday Online Shopping

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-12-02
 
 
 

IBM: Mobile Traffic Soars in Holiday Online Shopping


IBM, which has been closely tracking online commerce over the past weekend, reports that mobile traffic continues to be strong on Cyber Monday, following strong mobile buying over the Thanksgiving holiday, into Black Friday and over the weekend.

In an update based on online consumer spending as of 3 p.m. Eastern Time today, IBM said mobile traffic accounted for 30 percent of all Dec. 2 online traffic, up almost 62 percent from the same period last year. Mobile sales remained strong, reaching close to 16.5 percent of all online sales.

IBM said smartphones drove 20.2 percent of all online traffic, compared with tablets, at 9.4 percent, making it the browsing device of choice. When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 10.1 percent of all online sales, almost twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 6.3 percent. Tablet users also averaged $131.10 per order, versus smartphone users, who averaged $114.73 per order.

Meanwhile, as a percentage of total online sales, iOS was close to four and a half times higher than Android, driving 13.4 percent, versus 3 percent for Android. On average, iOS users spent $124.18 per order, compared with $117.64 for Android users, a difference of 6 percent. iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 20.7 percent, versus 9.1 percent for Android.

Regarding the social media influence, IBM said shoppers referred from Facebook averaged $99.60 per order, versus Pinterest referrals, which drove $95.30 per order. Facebook referrals converted sales at the same rate as Pinterest referrals.

IBM's updates are based on the cloud-based IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, a real-time digital analytics platform that tracks millions of transactions and analyzes terabytes of raw data from approximately 800 retail sites nationwide.

IBM reported a 19.7 percent increase in Thanksgiving Day online sales as holiday shoppers once again went online for the best deals. This momentum set the stage for a record Black Friday, with online sales growing 18.9 percent from the same period last year. This data is the result of cloud-based analytics from IBM.

The biggest surge came from mobile sales, which reached 25.8 percent of total online sales for Thanksgiving, and 21.8 percent for Black Friday, as consumers went from the dinner table to their tablets to lock in the best offers. In addition, IBM reported that New York City consumers led the way in Black Friday online sales followed by Atlanta and Los Angeles.

"We're off to an incredibly fast start this holiday season as retailers and consumers meet at the intersection of cloud, mobile and social platforms to both offer and take advantage of the best deals," Jay Henderson, strategy director for IBM Smarter Commerce, said in a statement. "It's clear that marketers are using cloud analytics technologies like the IBM Benchmark to better understand and act on real-time shopping trends. This year's winners will be those that can deliver seamless experiences to consumers wherever, whenever and however they choose to shop."

 

IBM: Mobile Traffic Soars in Holiday Online Shopping


As noted, Thanksgiving Day online sales grew 19.7 percent year-over-year, followed by Black Friday, with sales increasing 19 percent from 2012. Average order value for Black Friday was $135.27, up 2.2 percent year-over-year. New York City took the top spot for online sales on Black Friday.

Rounding out the top five were Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Mobile traffic grew to 39.7 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 34 percent over Black Friday last year. Mobile sales were also strong, reaching 21.8 percent of total online sales, an increase of nearly 43 percent year-over-year.

Smartphones drove 24.9 percent of all online traffic on Black Friday, compared with tablets, at 14.2 percent, making it the browsing device of choice. Tablets drove 14.4 percent of all online sales, double that of smartphones, which accounted for 7.2 percent of all online sales.

On average, tablet users spent $132.75 per order, compared with smartphone users who spent $115.63, a difference of 15 percent. On BlackFriday, iOS users spent $127.92 per order on average, compared with $105.20 per order for Android users. iOS traffic reached 28.2 percent of all online traffic, compared with 11.4 percent for Android. iOS sales reached 18.1 percent of all online sales, compared with 3.5 percent for Android.

Moreover, retailers resorted to pushing promotions to mobile shoppers. On average, retailers sent 37 percent more push notifications—the alert messages and pop-up notifications from apps installed on your mobile device—during the two-day period over Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, compared with daily averages over the past two months. Average daily retail app installations also grew by 23 percent, using the same comparison. Retailers sent more notifications on Thanksgiving Day than Black Friday, IBM said.

Also, on average, holiday shoppers referred from Pinterest on Black Friday spent 77 percent more per order than shoppers referred from Facebook. The Facebook average order value was $52.30, versus the Pinterest average order value, which was $92.51. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at nearly four times the rate of Pinterest.

Meanwhile, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four of the hottest retail categories this holiday season. For department stores, Black Friday total online sales grew by 61.4 percent from the 2012 level, with the mobile percentage of sales growing by 46.4 percent. Average order value was $146.84, an increase of 15 percent year-over-year.

For health and beauty products, Black Friday total online sales grew by 28 percent from 2012, with the mobile percentage of sales growing by 65 percent. The average order value was $66.31, an increase of 3.2 percent year-over-year.

For home goods, Black Friday total online sales grew by 16.8 percent from 2012, with the mobile percentage of sales increasing 24 percent. Average order value was $207.80, an increase of 15 percent year-over-year.

And for apparel, Black Friday total online sales grew by 50.4 percent from the 2012 level, with the mobile percentage of sales growing by 43 percent. The average order value was $123.31, an increase of 3.5 percent year-over-year.

 

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