Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Jay Henderson, Strategy Director, IBM Smarter Commerce

By Jay Henderson

(Second in a Series on the Holiday Shopping Season. For the Complete Package Go to the Bottom of this Post.)

According the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, U.S. shoppers once again took advantage of early promotions this holiday season, resulting in close to a 21 percent increase in online sales over 2011.
 
Rather than wait in long lines, it seems consumers chose to pull out their smartphones at the dining room table, or curl up with their tablets on the couch. In fact, mobile sales continued to dominate this holiday season reaching more than 16 percent.
 
As part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also revealed the following trends:

 

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales on Thanksgiving grew by 17.4 percent followed by Black Friday where sales increased 20.7 percent over last year.
  • Mobile Shopping: Mobile purchases soared with 24 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011.   
  • The iPad Factor: The iPad generated more traffic than any other tablet or smart phone, reaching nearly 10 percent of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 8.7 percent and Android 5.5 percent. The iPad dominated tablet traffic at 88.3 percent followed by the Barnes and Noble Nook at 3.1 percent, Amazon Kindle at 2.4 percent and the Samsung Galaxy at 1.8 percent.
  • Multiscreen Shopping: Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall 58 percent of consumers used smartphones compared to 41 percent who used tablets to surf for bargains on Black Friday.
  • The Savvy shopper: While consumers spent more overall, they shopped with greater frequency to take advantage of retailer deals and free shipping. This led to a drop in average order value by 4.7 percent to $181.22. In addition, the average number of items per order decreased 12 percent to 5.6. 
  • Social Media Sentiment Index: Shoppers expressed positive consumer sentiment on promotions, shipping and convenience as well as the retailers themselves at a three to one ratio.
  • Social Sales: Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35 percent from 2011.

What exactly were shoppers buying? Holiday sales growth was led by several industries, including:

  • Department stores continued to offer compelling deals and promotions that drove sales to grow by 16.8 percent over Black Friday 2011.
  • Health and Beauty sales increased 11 percent year over year with consumers once again choosing to pamper themselves this holiday.
  • Home goods maintained its momentum this year, reporting a 28.2 percent increase in sales from Black Friday 2011.
  • Apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Black Friday numbers showing an increase of 17.5 percent over 2011.

Stayed tuned for additional data and trends as they become available throughout Cyber Monday and the remainder of the holiday season. To join the conversation, follow the hashtags #smartershopping, #smartercommerce, #ibmretail and #IBMMobile on Twitter.

Today’s news is based on findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, the industry’s only cloud-based Web analytics platform that tracks more than a million e-commerce transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide. For complete coverage of the holiday shopping season and more, check out the IBM SmarterCommerce blog.

 _____________________________

Additional Coverage in this Series:

 

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