The latest findings from IBM show how retailers need to distinguish between smartphones and tablets as they are being used in different ways by consumers.

On Boxing Day in the UK a majority of traffic to retail websites came from mobile devices. While tablets drove sales, smartphones drove browsing. The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark reveals that on Thursday 26 December:

  • Online Sales Increased: by 40.4 percent compared to Boxing Day 2012.  

  • Mobile Shopping: Mobile traffic grew to 58 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 42 percent over 2012.  Sales completed via mobile devices were also strong, growing 63 percent year over year, and exceeding 45 percent of total online sales.

  • Smartphones vs. Tablets: Smartphones drove 29.9 percent of all online traffic versus tablets at 28 percent. When it came to making purchases, tablet users drove 29.4 percent of online sales, which was nearly twice that of smartphones users, who drove 15.8 percent. AOV (average order value) on tablets was £83.55 while AOV on all mobile phones was £78.06.  

  • iOS vs Android: iOS traffic generated 41.8 percent of all online traffic and 34.7 percent of all online sales while Android generated  15.1 percent of all online traffic and 9.8 percent of all online sales.  On average, iOS users spent £82.33 per order, compared to £78.93 per order for Android.  

According to James Lovell, Smarter Commerce retail solutions consultant, Europe, IBM: "This is the first time that traffic on mobile devices has outstripped the PC. Mobile has rapidly become the dominant channel and now retailers really need to look at the role that each device is going to play within the overall customer journey and decision making process.  The key challenge will be how they maximise the effectiveness of these devices to help augment the in-store customer experience as well as the traditional digital only channels."


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