This Valentine, Cupid went mobile!

What do Valentine’s Day and the December Holidays have in common? If you look past gifts, romance and loved ones the answer may surprise you: mobile shopping

Having spent a great deal of time over the last two months dissecting the influence of the empowered consumer. Throughout that time, the conversation has focused primarily on the emergence of the mobile shopper.

Now just more than six weeks into the new year, we are thrilled to report that mobile shopping remains a staple of the retail landscape whether through an iPhone, iPad or an Android device. Specifically in an analysis of online shopping the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, the IBM online Benchmark study found that 14.5 percent of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device. As for sales, 10.1 percent of all online sales for the week before the Valentine’s Day holiday came through a mobile device.

Sound familiar? Well it should. These figures for both traffic and sales are almost identical to what we saw over the recent Christmas holiday where traffic and sales were 14.6 percent and 11 percent respectively. What this tells us is that the mobile shopping habits witnessed over the November and December holidays are not fleeting. They’re actually quite the opposite. A permanent change is in affect with the empowered consumer turning to mobile devices not just for blockbuster shopping days but for all holidays and shopping occasions in between.

For Valentine’s Day, the influence of m-Commerce was perhaps most prevalent in several key verticals where mobile sales from mobile devices were up dramatically from last year:

  • Jewelry and Intimate Apparel: A record number of consumers made impulse buys via their mobile devices with mobile sales of jewelry and intimate apparel growing to 28.8 percent and 17.7 percent respectively.
  • Health and Beauty: Shoppers continued to demonstrate a desire to pamper their loved ones with mobile sales of health and beauty items (lotions, fragrances and more) growing to 15.1 percent, an increase from less than 4 percent in 2011.

Valentine’s shoppers also showed a similar pattern when it came to device preferences:

  • Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (5.5 percent and 4.9 percent respectively). Android was third at 4.4 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 10.4 percent of mobile device retail traffic so far this month.

It’s exciting to see the promise of mobile remains strong and I cannot wait to see how it continues to influence both shoppers and retailers as we move forward.  As for now it’s safe to say that Valentine’s Day shopping has evolved from the standard box of chocolates.

IBM Benchmark Christmas season report

reveals the following trends:

December 2011 Compared to December 2010 (year/year)

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 5.4 percent over 2010.
  • Mobile Traffic: 15 percent of all online sessions on a retailer’s site were initiated from a mobile device, up from 5.6 percent over this same period in 2010—an increase of 169 percent.
  • Mobile Sales: Sales from mobile devices grew, reaching 12.9 percent versus 4.5 percent in December 2010—an increase of 186.5 percent.
  • The Apple Shopper: Apple’s iPhone and iPad ranked one and two for mobile device retail traffic (6.4 percent and 4.7 percent respectively). Android was third at 3.6 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 11.1 percent for the month.
  • The iPad Factor: Shoppers using the iPad also continued to drive more retail purchases than any other device with conversion rates reaching 6.1 percent compared to 3.8 percent for all mobile devices.

“This Christmas shopping season has been characterised by consumers looking for deals and increasingly using their mobiles to shop online,” said Andrew Jackson-Proes, Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) leader for UK & Ireland, IBM. “The report demonstrates that retailers can really benefit from Smarter Commerce initiatives by meeting their customers’ expectations for offers and service via any device.”

 

 

Source

These early Christmas season findings are based on data from IBM Coremetrics Benchmark, the only analytics-based, peer-level benchmarking solution that measures online marketing results, including real-time sales data. All of the data is aggregated and anonymous.

Coremetrics Benchmark uses IBM’s cloud-based digital analytics platform to rapidly collect and analyse intelligence on how consumers are responding to the products and services being offered to them, enabling clients to make accurate decisions on marketing expenditures. As a result, marketing teams can gain deeper insight about their consumers and present personalised recommendations, promotions and other sales incentives across the wide variety of channels—including social networks and mobile devices—where consumers interact with their brands.

More information on Smarter Commerce can be found at:

http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/uk/en/smarter_commerce/overview/index.html

UK Christmas Season Recap Report PDF