M-Commerce Up, S-Commerce Down In Q2

Mobile shopping continued to climb in the second quarter, while retail sales via social media dropped according to a new report from IBM. The share of online sales from mobile devices increased to 15.1% from 13.3% in the first quarter as sales from social media fell from 2.4% to 1.9%, underscoring marketers have yet to crack the code on social commerce.

IBM’s Online Retail Sales Index reported that positive sentiment around social media dropped from 25.1% to 18.6% over the last quarter. IBM attributed the downward trend in social shopping to a lack of consensus within companies about how to best utilize social channels.

The anemic state of social shopping—which IBM defines as purchases made by people who visited retail sites from social media sites—stems from a failure of coordination between CMOs and CIOs as marketing and online commerce become increasingly technology-driven. “The lack of this alliance hinders the deployment of integrated technologies capable of fueling effective social media efforts,” the report stated.

A Bloomberg report in February highlighted retailers such as Gamestop, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom closing up storefronts on Facebook over the past year after failing to drive commerce through the social network. More recently, rumors have surfaced that Facebook plans to introduce a “Want” button to turn social engagement into sales.

Things are looking brighter on the mobile side, with one in seven online purchases being made from a mobile device, including iPhones, Androids and iPads. The 15% of online sales on mobile is up from 8% a year ago. The rise in m-commerce is fueled in part by the continued proliferation of smartphones and tablets, with U.S. penetration estimated at about 50% and 16%, respectively.

IBM’s Retail Online Index combines marketplace data from its analytics services, including the Benchmark with insights from its Social Sentiment Index, an analytics and natural language processing tool that analyzes large volumes of social media data to assess public opinions.  

Among key findings from the report:

*Total online sales dipped 2.3% in the second quarter from the prior quarter

*Average Order Value: The average value for each order in Q2 grew 2.3%

*The average number of items per order increased 2.6%

 *Online sales of home goods sales were up 35.3% in Q2


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