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Mobile Cements Status as Primary Shopping Channel

  |  December 9, 2013   |  Comments

Reports from Adobe,IBM, Skava and Kenshoo invariably confirm that mobile shopping is taking front seat,as demonstrated by soaring figures during Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, figures from Thanksgiving and Black Friday leave no doubt on the status of mobile as one of the primary and preferred consumer channels for online shopping.

According to holiday online shopping data gathered by Adobe, IBM, Skava and Kenshoo much of the traffic and sales came over the Thanksgiving weekend came from mobile devices.

Adobe: Sales via Smartphones and Tablets Generated a New Record

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday online sales reached record highs of $1.062 billion and $1.93 billion, respectively, according to Adobe. Mobile driven sales increased 118 percent year-over-year, accounting for more than 24 percent of overall online sales for the first time. More specifically, 16 percent of those mobile sales came from tablets, and 9 percent from smartphones.

More purchases were driven from iOS-based devices than from devices operating on Android. Ipads drove the majority of online sales with $417 million, compared to Android-based tablets at just $42 million. Meanwhile, sales made through iPhones reached $126 million, versus just $106 million via Android. 

Adobe's data is based on the analysis of nearly 400 million visits to more than 2,000 U.S. retailers' websites on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. You can read more insights here.

Related: 5 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Marketing Tips for 2014

IBM: Browse on Smartphones, Buy on Tablets

IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark confirms Adobe's findings based on sales during Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

"In the past few years, we have seen a large growth of mobile. This year, mobile is really poised to soar," Jay Henderson, Global Strategy Program Director, IBM Enterprise Marketing Management group, tells ClickZ.

In fact, overall online sales during Thanksgiving weekend increased 15 percent from the prior year. Mobile traffic represented 41 percent of all online traffic, up 35 percent from the same period last year. Mobile sales accounted for 23 percent of all online sales, up 44 percent from a year ago, according to IBM's findings.

iOS users are bigger spenders, with an average of $123.45 per order, compared to $102.33 for Android users.

IBM figures also clearly show that tablets drove more sales than smartphones during Thanksgiving and Black Friday. "Consumers are browsing more on their smart phones, but they buy more on the tablets. It's tremendous to see the cross between smartphones and tablets," says Henderson.

Smartphones attracted 25 percent of all online traffic, 10 percent higher than tablets. However, tablets drove 16 percent of overall online sales, compared to 7 percent for smartphones. Tablet users also placed an average of $127.73 per order, while smartphone users averaged $111.43 per order.

IBM also reported on Pinterest for the first time. According to Henderson, Pinterest has a higher order value than other social media sites. "These Pinterest buyers come to the site are spending much more. However, Facebook has much higher conversion rate. More people arrived in Facebook are converted to buy things than from Pinterest," Henderson tells ClickZ.

Skava: Mobile Conversion Rate was Higher During Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Mobile commerce saw higher traffic and higher conversion numbers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to data provided by Skava.

"People who did not buy earlier this year are coming and buying now. That's why the conversion rate is higher," says Arish Ali, co-founder and president, Skava.

Skava found that the Thanksgiving evening (6 pm - 8 pm PST) saw the highest mobile commerce traffic and sales. On average, mobile commerce sales on Black Friday were 969 percent higher than at any other time of the year, translating into a 272 percent traffic surge and a 54 percent increase in conversion rates.

Meanwhile, figures from Skava reveal that traffic from iPhones represented the lion's share (68 percent) of overall mobile web traffic, followed by traffic stemming from Samsung Galaxy devices (9 percent). Apple users were also more likely to purchase than Samsung users, it said.

Kenshoo: Paid Search Ad Spend, Clicks and Revenue Increased Across Mobile Devices

According to data from a Kenshoo report, retailers spent 27 percent more on paid search advertising during these two days than any other times of the year. Tablet budgets saw a year-over-year growth of 114 percent to 19 percent of total paid search spend. Phones accounted for 21 percent of total paid search spend, up 79 percent from the same period last year. In comparison, paid search advertisers cut their budgets on computers by 24 percent to 60 percent of total spend for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Click volume on computers also fell, as combined clicks from phones (27 percent) and tablets (17 percent) represented close to half of all paid search clicks over this period.

Sales on mobile devices also drove an increase of 176 percent in revenue. Nevertheless, at 73 percent, computers still drove the majority of online sales.


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Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a junior reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

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