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IBM reports mobile commerce drives online weekend sales

New York -- According to a report by IBM, U.S. shoppers took full advantage of early promotions this holiday season, driving a 17.4% increase in online sales Thanksgiving Day. This increase set the stage for 20.7% growth on Black Friday. The biggest surge came from mobile consumers, with sales reaching 16.3%, led by the iPad.

The data is the result of cloud-based analytics findings from IBM.  

Other findings of the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark revealed the following trends:

  • Online sales on Thanksgiving grew by 17.4% followed by Black Friday where sales increased 20.7% over last year;
  • Mobile purchases soared with 24% of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer's site, up from 14.3% in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16%, up from 9.8% in 2011;
  • The iPad generated more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, reaching nearly 10% of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 8.7% and Android 5.5%. The iPad dominated tablet traffic at 88.3% followed by the Barnes and Noble Nook at 3.1%, Amazon Kindle at 2.4% and the Samsung Galaxy at 1.8%;
  • Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall, 58% of consumers used smartphones compared with 41% who used tablets to surf for bargains on Black Friday;
  • 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% to $181.22. In addition, the average number of items per order decreased 12% to 5.6; and
  • Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34% of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35% from 2011.

“This year’s holiday shopper was hungry for great deals and retailers didn’t disappoint, rolling out compelling offers which consumers gobbled up on Thanksgiving straight through Black Friday,” said Jay Henderson, strategy director, IBM Smarter Commerce.

The report found that holiday sales growth was led by several industries which include:

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

Define "mobile"

Referring to: "Mobile sales exceeded 16%..." How is mobile defined here? Includes ipad/tablet?

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