The Thanksgiving mobile overnights are in, and shoppers weren’t just busting down department store doors late Thursday. They were also obliterating mobile commerce records. Sitting back on their couches, tryptophan-dazed and gadgets at the ready, Americans made 65.3% more purchases with their phones last Thursday than they had on Thanksgiving 2011, according to IBM Smarter Commerce, which traditionally tracks online commerce activity.
The foreshadowed “Mobile Thursday” scenario appeared to come true. Shoppers got the jump on the late T-Day and Black Friday mayhem and were lured by early online deals to help drive overall Internet retail business sales up 17.4% over last year. But mobile was the clear driver this time. Tablets figured prominently in the device-based purchasing, IBM reports. iPad tappers and swipers made up 10.7% of all online shopping on Thursday.
Overall, as of Thursday noon, 26.5% of visitors to retail sites were coming from devices, up substantially from the 15.11% seen last year. The share of purchases was at 14.1%, up four points from last year. IBM saw the iPhone leading, with 9.6% of all traffic, followed by the iPad with 9.3% and Android devices with 7.3%.
The mobile mania continued into Black Friday, when IBM also saw mobile purchasing up 14.3%. IGM Smarter Commerce Strategy Director Jay Henderson told The Boston Globe: “Mobile is really having a breakout year.” IGM Smarter Commerce measures activity across more than 500 retailers and about half of the top 100 sites, IBM tells Seeking Alpha.
A number of individual mobile entities reported a record-breaking Thanksgiving as well. Rue La La saw a 75% increase in mobile sales over last year, half of which came from the iPad. The “couch commerce” effect was apparent in their usage logs. The largest increase in traffic came after 8 p.m. EST, when the flash sale site opened its virtual doors to a special Holiday Dash boutique of offers.
Th design-oriented e-commerce site Fab reported that 40% of its Thanksgiving Day sales came through mobile devices, according to Business Insider.
Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform for major brands such as American Eagle, The Children’s Place, Costco, Sephora, Drug Store and Steve Madden, said visits to its client sites on Thanksgiving increased 103% to produce overall sales increase of 221%. Average order size was up 19% this year over same day last year. In terms of e-commerce share, the company saw 20.25% of total online traffic coming from smartphones.
Despite the more comprehensive penetration of Android devices in the market, Apple’s iOS continued to funnel far and away the most shoppers to Branding Brand sties, 63% of visitors and 70% of orders.