Mobile is king of e-commerce this holiday season, reports suggest

Mobile is king of e-commerce this holiday season, reports suggest

Summary: All industry reports and data are basically coming up with the same conclusion: 2013 is all about mobile.


In case you're here taking a break from Cyber Monday shopping, here's a recap on the weekend results.

Chances are some of these findings could comfort some of you worried you're the only ones wasting all your time and money on the Internet during the holidays.

From IBM to RetailMeNot, nearly all industry reports and data are basically coming up with the same conclusion: 2013 is all about mobile.

Looking back at the past four days between Thursday, November 28 through Sunday, December 1, mobile traffic accounted for 40.9 percent of all online traffic, up more than 35 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark draws in and analyzes terabytes of raw data from roughly 800 retails sites in real-time.

Mobile sales climbed by even more with an increase of 43.7 percent year-over-year, making smartphones and tablets responsible for 23.2 percent of all online sales.

As a case study, Walmart alone saw its mobile traffic double on November 28 compared to Thanksgiving Day 2012. Mobile accounted for 53 percent of all traffic to that day, climbing to 55 percent on Black Friday.

The big box store appears confident for that uptick to continue on Cyber Monday given that Walmart's senior vice president of merchandizing, Kelly Thompson, predicted that "2013 will be remembered as the year Cyber Monday went mobile."

By form factor, the breakdown seems to support that smartphones are the device of choice for browsing -- but tablets ring up larger orders. IBM found that smartphones accounted for 25 percent of all online traffic, compared to tablets at 15.2 percent.

But tablets accounted for 15.7 percent of all online sales, more than double that of smartphones at 7.4 percent., according to IBM. Furthermore, orders made on tablets averaged $127.73 per order, while smartphones only averaged $111.43 per order.

If you really want to break things down even more, iOS is the platform of choice among mobile shoppers, accounting for nearly five times more online sales than Android at a rate of 19.3 percent versus. 3.9 percent. Not surprisingly, iOS users also tend to spend more, averaging $123.45 per order, compared to $102.33 by Android users.

RetailMeNot took a closer look at the owners of these devices while projecting that nearly half (46 percent) of shoppers will use a mobile device during the holiday season this year.

The coupon site also suggested that male consumers are more likely to use mobile devices for shopping at a rate of 52 percent to 40 percent of women. Additionally, parents are also more likely to try to save some time and energy thanks to mobile shopping.

On a side note, here's one more fun tidbit. Facebook still drives more referrals, but much like how Adobe pinpointed in October, Pinterest is coming on strong. IBM found that Facebook referrals converted sales three times more than Pinterest referrals. But Facebook referrals only generated $72.04 on average per order, while Pinterest referrals drove $95.20 per order.

Topics: E-Commerce, Big Data, Data Management, IBM, Mobility

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  • What about in-store mobile usage?

    I'm just curious to know whether there's any information on how many shoppers were using their mobile devices while in the store to comparison shop or get more information about an item. I think it's an important part of the discussion, both for a more complete understanding of the numbers as well as potential marketing strategies moving forward.
  • What about in-store mobile usage?

    We conduct annual research of 2,000 US multi-channel shoppers. From this, we found that mobiles are a real shopper companion. When out shopping, 41% use their mobiles to compare prices and 33% are getting more product information. 38% have accessed a store's free Wi-Fi using their mobile. 23% use their mobile when out shopping to get friends opinion on purchases via Social Media. We have more details about how shoppers currently use their mobile to shop, and how they'd like to in the future, but thought I'd share these findings with you.
    Planet Retail