37% of Online Shoppers Turn to Mobile

After the flood of pre-holiday mobile shopping research we’ve been seeing, some actual mobile activity numbers are starting to come in pointing to some early trends.

Compared to the same weekend last year, this past weekend was a busy one for mobile shoppers online.

As overall online sales were up (19%) over the same period last year, mobile traffic accounted for more than a third (37%) of all traffic, based on the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.

The data is based on millions of transactions from about 800 retail sites and shows mobile sales as 18% of all online sales, an increase of 39% from last year.

Smartphone traffic accounted for more (22%) of all traffic than did tablets (14%), though, as in all other studies we’ve seen, actual sales on tablets (13%) exceed those made on smartphones (5%).

Mobile sales grew in each of the categories tracked. Here are the mobile sales increases, year over year:

  • 81% -- Health and beauty
  • 51% -- Department stores
  • 45% -- Apparel
  • 38% -- Home goods

Of the actual mobile activity, Apple continues to dominate, according to the IBM study. Apple users led overall traffic (26%) compared to Android users (11%), with iOS about five times higher than Android as a percentage of total online sales, driving 16% compared to 3% for Android.

On average, Apple users spent $115 per order compared to $79 for Android users.

Compared to the same shopping day last year, smartphone traffic yesterday accounted for 20% of all online traffic though more people again made purchase via tablet.

Many shoppers are clearly using their mobile devices throughout the course of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

While the actual transaction may occur from a PC or in a physical store, retailers can expect that much of the research and purchase decision process going into the final sale was in some way influenced by mobile activity.

3 comments about "37% of Online Shoppers Turn to Mobile".
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  1. Carissa Ganelli from LightningBuy, November 26, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.

    That only 5% purchase from smartphones is more of an indicator of how difficult merchants make it to complete a purchase. Apple, Sony, and Microsoft don't even have mobile sites (or only have a mobile home page). Staples new mobile site forces consumers to register and then includes a CAPCHA. Here's a link to our analysis of Staples' mobile site: Staples isn't alone. 25% of the Internet Retailer Top 100 merchants that enable mobile commerce force consumers to register before letting them make a purchase. Consumers are willing to purchase from smartphones if only merchants would make it easier to do so.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, November 26, 2013 at 2:44 p.m.

    Good point, Carissa, it's not always easy to actually make a buy via smartphone. And major retailers are finding shoppers want to use the mobile site rather than the app, with all the inherent issues, as you point out.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 26, 2013 at 7:37 p.m.

    Just today I bought a computer via my iPad. It wasn't a choice. My 2007 computer was sick beyond repair and had to be put down. That lovely point program begs such a purchase to be made via an on line source. Otherwise, this "mobile" devise sucks for shopping from over sensitivity to jumpyness to navigating to not remembering pass words every six seconds to not being able to get back to page with chosen items when interrupted or moving to another page. Unless you absolutely know the exact item you want to buy from where, wait until you get a better experience.

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