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IBM: Mobile Becoming Major Source of Retail

3 Jul, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

More consumers are using apps and the Web on their mobile devices to shop, and retailers would be wise to take note, according new data from IBM Digital Analytics.

Both average order value and number of items ordered from retailers online has risen to record highs in the past year, with U.S. online retail spending in the fourth quarter of 2013 up 10.3% year over year.

“Average annual spend per buyer is expected to exceed $2,000 [and] much of that growth will be driven through mobile devices, which command an ever-greater share of online sales and site traffic — particularly during the peak holiday season,” the report reads.

U.S. sales over mobile devices for 2013’s Black Friday rose nearly 43% and accounted for nearly 22% of all online sales, while Cyber Monday saw mobile sales up more than 55% from the previous year to 17.2% of total online spending. “As mobile grows, retail marketers need to assess their results between smartphones and tablets, and Apple devices versus competitors, to make the most of the mobile channel,” the report reads.

In November, the average order for online shopping hit $132.71, up 9% from 2011, and also that month tablet users averaged $124.16 per order, nearly 15% higher than smartphone users ($108.34). Users of Apple devices outspent their Android peers in by 37% in November 2013 ($121.48 vs. $88.98 per order).

“Sales over smartphones and tablets crested to a new high of 19.1% of all site sales in December 2013, up more than three-fold from December 2011,” the report reads. “Mobile site traffic, meanwhile, reached a record 38.2% in March 2014, more than double the rate of two years earlier.”

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