Commentary

Online Retail Mobile Forecast: 55% of Traffic, 26% of Sales

Summer is over and now it’s time to plan for mobile holiday shoppers.

Well, at least in retail, based on a curiously timed new piece of research.

The 2015 holiday shopping season already is shaping up to be a gift for U.S. online retailers, based on IBM’s eighth annual Online Retail Readiness Report just out.

As the final tally of 2014 holiday shopping, online retail sales increased 13% from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday with the average order value reaching $125.

Mobile accounted for 21% of sales during last year’s holiday shopping season and IBM projects it will account for 26% this year.

Mobile traffic to U.S. retail websites reached 47% in March of this year, a rather huge increase from the 29% just two years ago.

Mobile traffic is projected to top 55% of all traffic to retail websites by the end of this year, according to IBM.

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And along with traffic, mobile sales are up.

Mobile sales accounted for 24% of all online retail sales in March of this year, nearly double the 13% from two years ago.

Consistent with other studies, IBM found that retail websites are seeing substantially more traffic from smartphones than tablets. As of this March, smartphone traffic accounted for 34% of traffic compared to 13% from tablets.

Apple leads Android both in traffic and sales, accounting for 33% of all online traffic compared to 15% from Android devices.

The disparity in sales is even greater, with Apple leading at 19% compared to 6% coming from Android devices.

For holiday shopping, Cyber Monday remains at the top, accounting for the most online retail sales of the season last year.

Sales conversions across all channels also were the highest on Cyber Monday.

So now that we have the holiday shopping forecast, I can only imagine that the mobile study just around the corner will focus on back-to-school shopping.

Happy summer!

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