Monday , November 19, 2018

Mobile Commerce Soars As Consumers Begin Their Holiday Shopping

 

Consumers wielding smart phones and tablets put their PayPal accounts to work over the just-passed holiday-shopping weekend.

PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc. until its anticipated spinoff in 2015, says its global mobile-payments volume increased 62% on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, over the same day in 2013. And the number of shoppers using PayPal on a mobile device—defined as a smart phone or tablet—increased 51% on Black Friday from the same day in 2013. PayPal would not release specific volume figures.

And, according to IBM Digital Analytics, mobile sales on Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, increased 27.6% from 2012. “From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, overall online sales increased 12.6%, with mobile sales up 27.2% compared to the same period in 2013,” IBM says.

Mobile commerce strongly affected Cyber Monday. IBM says that mobile traffic account for 41.2% of all online traffic that day, up 30.1% from 2013. Mobile sales were 22% of total Cyber Monday online sales, an increase of 27.6% from 2013, the firm says.

Through half of Cyber Monday, PayPal says its mobile-payment volume increased 39% over 2013. It expects to release full Cyber Monday statistics later today.

“An increasing number of consumers are turning to their mobile devices, looking for deals or to facilitate their payments,” Pablo Rodriguez, PayPal head of global consumer initiatives, tells Digital Transactions News. That is coupled with the increased promotional period, with some retailers open on Thanksgiving and many pushing online deals on the holiday, he says.

Indeed, at least one e-commerce merchant echoed PayPal’s experience with mobile commerce. Apparel retailer Rue La La says 68% of its sales on the day before Thanksgiving came from mobile devices. Typically, m-commerce accounts for 50% of the site’s daily sales, it says.

The growth of mobile commerce is aided by a greater awareness among consumers about mobile shopping and increasing savviness among retailers in reaching these consumers, Rodriguez says. “It speaks to the overall convenience of consumers wanting to shop and pay when and where they want,” he says.

That convenience is especially important for consumers in the product-discovery phase, says Paula Rosenblum, an analyst at consultancy Retail Systems Research. “Mobile is growing as an engagement engine at crazy rates–I think it rose up to 50% of all traffic volume, and per IBM, sales were up [more than] 25% both Thursday and Friday,” Rosenblum says in an email message. “So it’s very important in the product-discovery phase (especially the smart phone) and is growing as an actual commerce engine.”

In particular those retailers who present shoppers with a unified look at the retailer’s inventory, so they can see what’s in stock in a store and online, may have benefited, too, says Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, in an email. “I will be most interested to see how the retailers fared that offer mobile sites or apps that show inventory availability at stores or the ability to filter by store availability,” Baird says. “I suspect they may have done better than their peers over the weekend.”

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