Study: Christmas Day mobile sales up from last year

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More than 18% of of Christmas Day online traffic was initiated on a mobile device, an 8.4% increase year-over-year, according to an IBM report. Transactions completed on mobile devices also grew, from 5.3% in 2010 to 14.4% in 2011. Christmas Day online sales rose by 16.4% compared with last year's sales figures.

John Squire, chief strategy officer of IBM Coremetrics, said the mobile numbers suggest consumers are getting more comfortable with mobile shopping and that he expects mobile's 2012 sales share to be in the “mid-20s” in terms of percentage points.

“Consumers are over that hurdle of security and privacy [for mobile commerce], and retailers are doing an excellent job of reaching the smarter consumer,” Squire said.

The iPad generated the most mobile traffic at 7%. The iPhone and Android devices trailed at 6.4% and 5% respectively. 

Online sales the day after Christmas grew 27.8% year-over-year. Mobile accounted for 13.8% of the day's total sales, and 18.7% of its online traffic was initiated on a mobile device.


Asked whether Christmas Day falling on a weekend could have impacted the online sales figures, Squire said that, looking at patterns of the past eight years, the day of the week didn't matter. To illustrate the point, he said that IBM had estimated the year-over-year increase in Christmas Day online sales figures to be in the “teens,” which it was.

IBM's report aggregated sales figures from 500 online retailers but did not include Amazon. Squire acknowledged that “Amazon is certainly the biggest [e-commerce] player” but said the IBM numbers are a “good representative sample of what's going on online.”

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