IBM: Mobile shopping doubles over holiday

Armonk, N.Y. -- On Tuesday, IBM released its final Benchmark announcement for the 2011 holiday season, detailing a continued strong performance for mobile as well as an overall increase in online spending for December 2011.

According to the report, the U.S. online retail sector delivered 7.5% growth in December 2011 compared to the same period last year. This followed a strong November where both Black Friday 2011 and Cyber Monday 2011 delivered double-digit growth over 2010.

Other key findings of the IBM report included:

  • Mobile traffic experienced significant growth, as 14.6% of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, more than double the rate of 5.6% over this same period in 2010;
  • Sales from mobile devices doubled, reaching 11% versus 5.5% in December 2010;
  • Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (5.2% and 4.3% respectively). Android was third at 4.1%;
  • Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 6.3% compared witho 3.1% for all mobile devices; and
  • By category, department stores online sales were up 18% over last year; home goods reported a 15.6% increase and apparel sales increased 16.3%.

"This past December consumers remained committed to finding the best online deals whether through their PC or mobile device,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Smarter Commerce.