IBM: Mobile Traffic Soars in Holiday Online Shopping

IBM reported that consumers are using mobile devices more than ever for holiday shopping, with mobile traffic up 62 percent over last year.

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."