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Mobile made up 14pc of Black Friday Web traffic: study

January 24, 2012

Mobile was a hot trend for holiday 2011

Mobile shopping proved to be on the rise for the 2011 holiday season with 14.3 percent of Black Friday Web traffic attributed to mobile, according to a new report from IBM Coremetrics.

In the “U.S. online retail holiday shopping recap report 2011” IBM report, the company looked at how mobile played a role in 2011 holiday spend. The report included a comprehensive look at mobile activity from November through the end of the year.

“The report is proof of how critical mobile is to retail,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer of IBM Smarter Commerce, Armonk, NY.

“Mobile is driving a big piece if the business – iPads have jumped to the front of the show – and we also saw on Christmas more mobile sessions than previous years,” he said.

Mobile spend
In addition to mobile traffic on Black Friday, mobile sales totaled to 9.8 percent this holiday season, compared to 3.2 percent in 2010 marking a 209.61 percent year-to-year growth, per the IBM report.

Apple devices also led the pack for mobile traffic with 5.4 percent of all online traffic coming via an iPhone, and 4.8 percent from iPad devices. Overall, mobile traffic increased 157.54 percent year-to-year.

Additionally, iPads proved to be particularly effective for conversions, and generated 4.6 percent of all online conversions compared to 2.8 percent for all mobile devices.

Android devices made up 4.1 percent of online traffic on Black Friday.

Mobile shoppers browsed and accessed multiple mobile sites with a 41.3 percent bounce rate on Black Friday compared to a 33.1 percent online bounce rate.

The report also looked at the rest of November with mobile sales raking in 9.7 percent of all online transactions, and mobile traffic representing 12.6 percent.

Mobile Monday
The study also looked at how Cyber Monday mobile activity compared to Black Friday activity. Although mobile still increased significantly year-to-year, mobile activity slowed down on Cyber Monday.

Mobile traffic made up 10.8 percent of all traffic on Cyber Monday, showing that consumers were using mobile more for more last-minute holiday shopping than for finding advanced deals. Mobile traffic increased 161.92 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Mobile sales skyrocketed on Cyber Monday year-to-year with 6.6 percent of all online sales made via mobile in 2011 compared to 2.3 percent in 2010, showing a 192.57 percent increase year-to-year.

During Cyber Monday, the highest number of mobile shopping took place at 2 p.m. ET, pointing to how consumers actively swapped out their desktops for their mobile devices mid-day.

Similar to Black Friday, iPads continued to be useful for sales on Cyber Monday with a 5.2 percent conversion rate.

The report also included findings into IBM’s earlier report that mobile made up 18 percent of online traffic on Dec. 26 and 12 percent of sales.

Over the course of 2011, IBM found that mobile traffic and sales steadily increased by one-half to one percent every month and primarily used mobile to deals in-store and online.

In January 2011, mobile traffic made up 5.8 percent of all traffic compared to December with 14.6 percent of all traffic.

Additionally, mobile sales increased from 5.9 percent in January 2011 to 11 percent by December.

“Through 2012, tablet shoppers will be key component to how to survey consumers and how retailers can get consumers in-stores,” Mr. Squire said.

“From engaging with digital stores and seeing more iPads enter the store, mobile is changing the way retailers need to serve customers,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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