Sales from mobile devices drive growth for online retailers at Easter, reports IBM


Sales from mobile devices surged 196% for UK online retailers in the week leading up to Easter Sunday 2012, helping to drive overall online sales growth of 6% year-on-year, according to new data from IBM.

It found: 

  • Mobile traffic accounted for 18.9% of total online retail traffic, representing a 205.7% growth over the week leading up to Easter 2011
  • Mobile sales accounted for 15.4% of total sales, a 195.5% growth over the week leading up to Easter 2011
  • Apple iPhone were the dominant mobile devices with 42.1% of total mobile sessions (131.8% growth year-to-year), followed by the iPad with 36.3% of total mobile sessions (280.4% growth year-on-year), and Android with 21.8% of total mobile sessions (306.5% growth year-on-year)
  • Items per order increased from 4.12 to 4.35 and average order value increased by 7.6% – from £108.45 to £116.71
  • Percentage of site traffic from consumers visiting via a social site referral was up by almost a half (48.2%); but sales from consumers visiting via a social site referral dropped to just 0.7% of total online sales

The IBM Coremetrics Benchmark analysis gathers data directly from the web sites of more than 150 leading UK retailers. Using sophisticated analytics technology, Benchmark measures real-time sales data and online marketing results to uncover shopping trends across a wide variety of channels including social media, mobile devices and other online sources where consumers interact with their brands.  

Chris Withers, IBM’s head of Smarter Commerce, said: “The exceptional growth of consumers using mobile devices to shop online is being driven by two forces in addition to the greater penetration of smart phones. First, retailers are investing in their mobile offerings to improve the customer experience which in turn, encourages greater consumer use.

“Second, mobile operators are starting to help consumers to use apps on their smart phones. This drives greater data usage which grows the mobile operator revenues. And as smart phone and tablet devices improve, we would expect mobile sales to continue these high growth rates.”