The proportion of online ‘traffic’ from mobile devices to retailers’ websites will rise to around 15% in the UK this December – almost three times its level of 5.6% last December – according to IBM Coremetrics’ Online Benchmark data.
Mobile sales reached a high of 11% of all online sales in October, up from 3.1% in the same month in 2010. IBM claims the growing popularity of mobile devices, especially iPads and iPhones, is driving the trend.
Consumers are also taking advantage of online discounts as retailers launch seasonal promotions earlier than usual, with sales in November expected to grow by 10% year on year.
The research also shows that the conversion rate on iPads is higher than other mobile devices – possibly due to the larger screen making online shopping easier and a view that iPads are used more at home, in a setting and at a time that’s more conducive to online shopping than mobile phones.
“This Christmas shoppers are moving beyond the PC and on to the mobile, showing that retailers must pay close attention to this important new shopping channel.” Andrew Jackson-Proes, IBM’s enterprise marketing management leader for UK & Ireland
Interestingly, to add to the debate on reach vs. engagement, the research also shows that iPhone users account for nearly double the amount of traffic to retail sites compared to Android users.
The research also looked at conversion rates. Whilst identifying the average conversion rate of those visiting retail online sites as 4.7% it suggests that social media can play a part in increasing conversion rates, with a 7.6% conversion rate being achieved when consumers are directed to a retail site via a social media site.
Data for the survey is collected from the websites of more than 150 UK retailers to identify online trends.