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IBM: December online shopping remains strong through the holiday

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — The IBM Benchmark Report, released Tuesday, showed continued strength for online retailers.

According to the report, which provided a snapshot of online retail data for December 25 and December 26 as of 12 pm PST, Christmas Day online sales grew by 16.4% year-over-year. And 18.3% of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, up from 8.4% on Christmas Day 2010 — an increase of 117.8%.

Other report highlights included:

  • Sales from mobile devices reached 14.4% versus 5.3% on Christmas Day 2010 — an increase of 172.9%;
  • The iPad led all mobile device Christmas Day traffic at 7%, followed by iPhone at 6.4% and Android at 5%;
  • On Dec. 26, online sales were up 10% year-over-year as of noon PST;
  • 18.7% of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device on Dec. 26; and
  • Sales from mobile devices were at 13.8% when last measured on Dec. 26.

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Shopatron predicts factors that will impact retail shopping in 2012

BY Allison Cerra

San Luis Obispo, Calif. — An e-commerce solution for branded manufacturers on Friday released a new forecast on how retail shopping will be influenced by the Internet, in addition to mobile and social networking.

From January to December 2011, the percentage of visits to Shopatron brand partner stores from mobile devices grew from 6.5% to 12.2%, the company said, adding that it has projected that number will grow 18% to 20% by the end of next year. Additionally, Shopatron also predicted social networking will have a stronger influence on retail purchasing behavior in 2012, with the number of Shopatron clients using the company’s online marketing services to invest in Facebook ads or Facebook shops increasing from about 50% to 70%-75% by the end of 2012.

"We have seen rapid growth in mobile this year, with visits to our mobile optimized client stores approaching double what we saw at the beginning of the year," Shopatron online marketing manager Greg Squires said. "And we expect that number to nearly double again in 2012. With this level of traffic, we recommend that brands pay special attention to their mobile presence and mobile marketing tactics in the coming year."

Added Shopatron senior VP marketing Mark Grondin: “There’s an undeniable shift happening. Consumers are being conditioned to expect that they can shop anywhere, anytime and any way they like. Not just in stores, but also on their computers, their phones, their tablets, their TVs and soon on their refrigerators. Brands and retailers that don’t accommodate them are going to lose sales and loyalty."

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Ace Hardware names COO

BY Staff Writer

Oakbrook, Ill. — Ace Hardware said Wednesday it has named John Venhuizen COO, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Venhuizen has spent nearly two decades with Ace and most recently served as executive VP supply chain, information technology and international. In this position, he helped grow the number of Ace stores around the world, as well as create a variety of successful support and incentive programs for retailers.

Venhuizen will report to Ray Griffith, president and CEO.

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