Just released data from IBM Benchmark shows that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets may have significant role in this year’s hugely successful online retail holiday season.
According to the report, key overall metrics for mobile device traffic and purchases over the holiday were impressive.
During the month of December, 14.6% of all online sessions on retailer sites were initiated from mobile devices, which is more than double the 5.6% reported for the same period in 2010.
Figure 1: Online Retail Sessions from Mobile Devices (IBM Benchmark)
Perhaps more importantly, sales from mobile devices also doubled from 5.5% in 2010 to about 11% during the busy December 2011 holiday shopping season.
Figure 2: Online Retail Purchases from Mobile Devices (IBM Benchmark)
The study also claims the Apple iPhone is tops in terms of retail traffic from mobile devices with the iPad coming in at number two and giving Apple a more than 2-to-1 advantage over Android.
Figure 3: Share of Retail Traffic from Mobile Devices (IBM Benchmark)
In terms of actual retail purchases from a mobile device, iPad gets the edge with a conversion rate of 6.3% or more than double the 3.1% for other mobile devices.
Figure 4: Purchase Conversion Rates from Mobile Devices (IBM Benchmark)
In a statement released this morning, IBM Smarter Commerce Chief Strategy Office John Squire says, "This past December consumers remained committed to finding the best online deals whether through their PC or mobile device.”
Squire goes on to say that "By employing a smarter approach to commerce, many retailers were successful in helping to connect their customers with the best deals from anywhere and at any time, even on Christmas Day where online shopping grew by 16.4 percent over 2010.”
The results of this study are based on a combination of metrics and analysis including real-time sales data from more than 500 leading U.S. retail web sites.