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IBM: Online sales rise 19% pre-Thanksgiving weekend


Armonk, N.Y. - Online sales were up 18.7% the weekend before Thanksgiving (Nov. 22-23) compared to the same two-day period in 2013. According to IBM Digital Benchmark analysis, mobile traffic accounted for 48.8% of all online traffic, an increase of 24.4% year-over-year.

In addition, mobile sales accounted for 26.6% of all online sales, an increase of 23.9% year-over-year.

Average order value was $112.86, a 5.4% decrease from the same period in 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 3.2 items per order. IBM says this trend may indicate that shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains.

Smartphones drove 31.8% of total online traffic, nearly double that of tablets, which accounted for 16.5% of all online traffic. However, tablet sales accounted for 17.3% of online sales, nearly twice as much as smartphones, which accounted for 9.2% of total online sales. Desktop PC traffic represented 51.2% of all online traffic, and 73.4% of all online sales.

Furthermore, consumers spent 17% more money on their desktops ($123.29) than their mobile devices ($105.37).

Facebook vs. Pinterest

As marketers continue to rely on social channels to drive brand loyalty and sales, IBM analyzed trends across two leading sites, Facebook and Pinterest. Facebook referrals drove an average of $101.83 per order while Pinterest referrals averaged $103.87 per order. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at twice the rate of Pinterest.

Apple iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Google Android across three key metrics on Black Friday:

-- Average Order Value: Apple iOS users averaged $111.55 per order compared to $86.56 for Google Android users, a difference of 28.9%.

-- Online Traffic: Apple iOS traffic accounted for 33% of total online traffic, more than double that of Google Android, which drove 15.3% of all online traffic

-- Online Sales: Apple iOS sales accounted for 20.8% of total online sales, more than triple that of Google Android, which drove 5.4% of all online sales.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across four retail categories:

1. Department Stores: Weekend total online sales grew by 18.7% from 2013. Average order value was $149.54, a decrease of 7.5% year-over-year.

2. Health and Beauty: Weekend total online sales grew by 14.8% from 2013. Average order value was $70.57, an increase of 5% year-over-year.

3. Home Goods: Weekend total online sales grew by 20% from 2013. Average order value was $207.51, a decrease of 2.7% year-over-year.

4. Apparel: Weekend total online sales grew by 3.8% from 2013. Average order value was $120.70, a decrease of 3.3% year-over-year.

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