Once again, mobile commerce has showed itself to play a critical role in the online retail experience, particularly during peak shopping periods.

In a new Shopping Insights study released  by RichRelevance, the leading provider of personalisation for online retailers, reported that mobile was a predominant driver of online shopping in December, with more than one in four shopping sessions taking place on a mobile device. The report also found that Apple iOS devices accounted for 85% of mobile purchases in December 2012 -a measurable decline when compared to the same period in 2011.

The second UK Boxing Day Shopping Study from RichRelevance analysed over 322 million online visits to many of the UK's largest retail websites,including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. Shopping sessions took place on mobile or desktop computers during the month of December 2012. Key findings from the report follow:

Mobile devices accounted for one in four shoppers on Boxing Day 2012: 25% of all shoppers were on some kind of mobile platform compared with 75% on desktops and non-mobile computers. Apple devices dominated mobile shopping, with 56% shopping on iPad and 18% on iPhone.

The iOS platform saw a measurable decline in share of mobile shopping sales year-over-year: In December 2011, 97% of sales originated from iOS devices, compared with 85% in December 2012, representing a 12% decline.

Mobile usage grew steadily from the beginning of the month through Christmas and Boxing Day, when it peaked. On 1 December, about 19% of shoppers were on a mobile platform. By 25 December, the share had climbed to 28%.

Screen size matters! Desktops produced the highest conversion at 3.7%, followed by iPads at 2.5%, and mobile phones at around 1%. Apple devices drove higher AOV than non-Apple devices—£106.48 for iPhone and £98.25 for iPad.

Shoppers have the longest shopping sessions on desktop computers, and the shortest sessions on mobile phones. Tablets strike a happy medium for the on-the-go shopper.

“Throughout 2013, commerce on mobile devices will become an even greater priority for retailers, as customers research products, compare prices and shop across channels, predominantly on their smart phones. Retailers must optimise their websites for the mobile shopper—while paying special attention to the varying influence of the platforms that shoppers use in their path to purchase —or risk losing revenue and the bigger opportunity to build brand loyalty,” said Darren Hitchcock, vice president, UK and European region, RichRelevance.



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