IBM sees strong online holiday for retailers

Armonk, N.Y. -- Online retailers can expect a strong holiday shopping season. According to the latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data, which analyzes online transactions from more than 800 retailers in the U.S., retail sales were up 16% in October and 11% in the first week of November (Nov. 1-Nov. 7) compared to the same period last year.

Department stores have reason for optimism as online sales are up 110% year-over-year for the first week in November. In addition, mobile shopping continues to surge. The mobile percentage of online sales increased more than 43% year-over-year for the first week of November to 14% of all online sales.

According to the report, shoppers are poised to be on the hunt for bargains, discounts, and retailer coupons, using their favorite apps to cash in on savings. This trend holds true the first week in November, where average order value was down 4%, yet online sales rose 11% over the same week in 2012.

In other findings:

  • Consumers continue to look to their smartphones for retail browsing (19.56% of total online traffic), tablet shoppers (12.10%) are the ones cashing in. Average order value for tablet sales was 14.6% higher than that of smartphones in the first week of November but they converted three times more than smartphone users. Tablet shoppers spent on average $117.97 per order, as compared to $102.99 per order for smartphone shoppers.
  • As consumers continue to explore the shopping potential of social media sites, Facebook and Pinterest rise to the top. Pinterest users had an average order value of $136.17 the first week in November, while Facebook users spent an average of $54.88. But the real story lies in how well these sites convert browsers into buyers – and Facebook wins the conversion competition – converting four times higher than Pinterest shoppers.

 

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