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IBM: Mother’s Day drives online shopping spike


New York -- Mother’s Day is turning into a goldmine for online retailers. Overall U.S. retail online sales for the week leading up to Mother's Day rose more than 15% compared to the same period last year, according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. Mobile traffic accounted for 46.3% all online traffic, up more than 21% compared to last year. Mobile sales saw strong growth, up more than 43%, reaching over 24.4% of all online sales.

IBM examined the online sales growth across four of the hottest retail categories for the week leading up to Mother's Day compared to the average of the previous four weeks (April 5 - May 2, 2015). It found that online sales of gifts increased 90.7% the week leading up to Mother's Day compared to the average of the previous four weeks, while online jewelry sales increased 40%. Online department store sales increased 21.5%, and online apparel sales increased 4% the week leading up to Mother's Day, compared to the average of the previous four weeks.

Here are some other findings from the report, which for the first time includes insights from NorthPage, a member of IBM’s growing marketing ecosystem:

The desktop remains supreme: Even as mobile shopping continues to grow, many consumers chose a more traditional online experience. Desktop PC traffic represented 53.5% of all online traffic, and 75.7% of all online sales.

Further, consumers spent more money on their desktops with an average order value of $118.15 compared to their mobile devices at $104.28, a difference of 13.3%.

Smartphones vs. tablets: Smartphones drove 33.6% of all online traffic compared to tablets at 12.3%. But when it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 13% of all online sales while smartphones accounted for 11.3%.

Tablet users also averaged $110.69 per order, versus smartphone users, who averaged $101.43 per order.

Personalization matters: According to NorthPage, leading gift and jeweler sites expanded e-commerce functionality to enable product personalization and customization, which drove increased product identification and conversion rates.

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