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Category: Marketing

Alert: Online Mobile Sales Jump 46% Over Full Fourth Quarter

Before we officially close out 2013, we wanted to provide a final update on year-end online sales trends from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.  The following information is part of our quarterly retail online index, which analyzed online shopping behavior during the preceding three months (10/1/13 through 12/31/13).

Overall fourth quarter online sales were up 10.3 percent year over year.   Here were some of the key drivers:

  •  Mobile Traffic and Sales:  Mobile traffic soared, accounting for nearly 35 percent of all online traffic, up 40 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Mobile sales also remained strong, reaching 16.6 percent of all online sales, up more than 46 percent over the same period last year.
  •  Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 21.3 percent of all online traffic, nearly double that of tablets at 12.8 percent, making it the browsing device of choice.  When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 11.5 percent of all online sales, more than twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 5 percent.  Tablet users also averaged $118.09 per order, versus smartphone users, who averaged $104.72 per order.
  •  iOS vs. Android:  As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was almost five times higher than Android, driving 12.7 percent vs. 2.6 percent for Android. On average, iOS users spent $115.42 per order, nearly 40 percent higher than Android users, who spent $83.56 per order.  iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 22.1 percent vs. 10.6 percent for Android.
  • The Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest:  Shoppers referred from Facebook averaged $60.48  per order, versus Pinterest referrals, which drove $109.93 per order.  However, Facebook referrals converted sales at more than three and a half times the rate of Pinterest referrals, perhaps indicating stronger confidence in network recommendations.

Supporting these overall trends, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark also reported real-time trends across a number of retail subcategories throughout the fourth quarter:

  1. Department Stores: Fourth quarter online sales grew by 62.8 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 49.6 percent year over year.
  2. Health and Beauty: Fourth quarter online sales grew by 14.7 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 81.7 percent year over year.
  3. Home Goods:  Fourth quarter online sales grew by more than 46.4 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 38 percent year over year.
  4. Apparel:  Fourth quarter online sales grew by 10.2 percent over 2012, with mobile sales growing by 54.5 percent year over year.

    These results were driven in part by the record online sales we observed over Thanksgiving (up 19.7 percent YoY), Black Friday (up 19 percent YoY) and Cyber Monday (up 20.6 percent YoY).  You can find our full holiday recap reports at

    Today’s updates are based on the cloud-based IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, the industry’s only real-time, cloud-based digital analytics platform that tracks millions of transactions and analyzes terabytes of raw data from approximately 800 retail sites nationwide.

Source: IBM

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