Mobile sales surge 43% year-over-year on Black Friday

Having a mobile strategy will be key for retailers to capture online holiday sales, says Forrester

Mobile sales surged 43 percent year-over-year on Black Friday, accounting for 21.8 percent of total online sales, according to the latest stats from IBM.

To compile its stats, IBM tracked millions of transactions and terabytes of data from approximately 800 U.S. retail websites.

Retailers sent 37 percent more push notifications to mobile devices during the two-day period over Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday compared to daily averages over the previous two months. Average daily retail app installations increased by 23 percent in the same period.

Users of iOS devices spent $127.92 per order on Black Friday compared to $105.20 per order for users of Android devices; iOS traffic reached 28.2 percent of all online traffic, compared to 11.4 percent for Android.

Retailers who use mobile effectively will be well positioned to capture a significant chunk of an expected $78.7 billion in online holiday sales this season, according to Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. The research firm estimates that 167 million shoppers will shop online this season, spending an average of $472.

"Strong economic growth and low unemployment rates project a healthy playing field for online holiday sales and outweigh any lingering dampening effect of the government shutdown," says Mulpuru.

While having a mobile strategy will help retailers this holiday season, price is still king for consumers. In a recent Forrester survey, half of U.S. adults said they would consider buying from an online retailer that they had never bought from before if it offered the lowest shipping cost or free shipping, while 42 percent said the best deal offers would determine their buying decision.

"As the web channel has become synonymous with value, retailers should expect consumers to be avidly searching for deals through a variety of touchpoints, at home and in-store on mobile devices," Mulpuru writes in a blog.

"Availability of web content across devices will be critical: Forrester estimates that cross-channel sales (transactions that are influenced by the web in some way but are completed in stores) will account for $247 billion this holiday season," he adds.

For more:
- see IBM's release
- check out Forrester's release
- read Mulpuru's blog

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