2014 Holiday Retail Roundup: Online, Mobile Rule

December 24, 2014 Rieva Lesonsky

2014 holiday retail

The 2014 holiday retail madness is finally over (at least, for those of you who aren’t frantically hitting the mall right now). How did online retailers do? Very well, according to the latest data.

Online sales for the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday (now being dubbed “Cyber Five”) grew by 20.6 percent compared to 2013, reports Chain Store Age. The biggest jump was on Cyber Saturday (27 percent); the smallest, on Cyber Monday (16.7 percent).

But even bigger news is the growth of mobile device use in the shopping process. More than half (56 percent) of online shopping traffic was from computers, but nearly half (45 percent) was for mobile devices. Specifically, 25 percent came from smartphones and 20 percent from tablets.

Customers were much less likely to buy on mobile, with 71 percent of sales taking place on computers. Still, a respectable 29 percent of purchases were made on mobile devices.

The IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark reports comparable numbers and the strong growth of mobile. Here are some trends IBM noted:

  • Consumers Cash-In on Online Bargains: Average order value was $123.81, flat compared to the same period in 2013. Shoppers also purchased an average of 3.4 items per order.
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: While they use smartphones in-store to search and price products, consumers are more likely to buy on tablets.
  • The Desktop Is Not Dead: Mobile shopping continues to grow, but many consumers still prefer the traditional online experience—using the desktop PC. In addition, shoppers spent more money when buying on a desktop. The average desktop order value was $128.60, compared to $112.81 on a mobile device.
  • Email Makes the Sale: The number of transactional email messages triggered automatically by a user’s action rose 48 percent compared to last year. Examples include an email about an abandoned shopping cart or a receipt for a purchase. Smart e-tailers are using automation to increase their sales.
  • Email Goes Mobile: Nearly half of Cyber Monday emails were opened on smartphones or tablets—48 percent, vs. 52 percent on desktops.

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Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

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