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Boxing Day sees mobiles beat PCs

By Retail Technology | Monday December 30 2013

Latest figures find mobile and online shopping growing again on Boxing Day, with smartphones and tablets supporting different browsing and purchasing habits

On Boxing Day in the UK a majority of traffic to retail websites came from mobile devices. But while tablets drove sales, smartphones drove browsing. 

These are the latest findings released over the weekend by IBM, which suggest retailers need to distinguish between smartphones and tablets as consumers use them in different ways. 

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, compiled from daily e-commerce traffic and transactions from more than 200 participating cloud-based IBM Digital Analytics using UK retail websites, revealed that on Thursday 26 December online sales increased by 40.4% compared to Boxing Day 2012. 

Mobile traffic grew to 58% of all online traffic, with an increase of 42% over 2012. Sales completed via mobile devices were also strong, growing 63% year-on-year, and exceeding 45% of total online sales.

Smartphones versus tablets 

The Benchmark also found that smartphones drove 29.9% of all online traffic versus tablets, at 28%. When it came to making purchases, tablet users drove 29.4% of online sales, which was nearly twice that of smartphones users, who drove 15.8%. Average order value (AOV) on tablets was £83.55, while AOV on all mobile phones was £78.06. 

In terms of the split between Apple iOS and Android device users, iOS traffic generated 41.8% of all online traffic and 34.7% of all online sales. Android generated 15.1% of all online traffic and 9.8% of all online sales. On average, iOS users spent £82.33 per order, compared to £78.93 per order for Android. 

James Lovell, Smarter Commerce retail solutions consultant in Europe for IBM, commented: “This is the first time that traffic on mobile devices has outstripped the PC. Mobile has rapidly become the dominant channel and now retailers really need to look at the role that each device is going to play within the overall customer journey and decision making process. 

“The key challenge will be how they maximise the effectiveness of these devices to help augment the instore customer experience as well as the traditional digital only channels.” 

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