According to IBM, US shoppers once again took advantage of early promotions this holiday season, driving a 17.4 percent increase in online sales Thanksgiving Day. This increase set the stage for 20.7 percent growth on Black Friday. The biggest surge came from mobile consumers, with sales reaching 16.3 percent, led by the iPad. This data is the result of cloud-based analytics findings from IBM.

As part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark revealed the following trends as of 12:00 am PST:
• Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales on Thanksgiving grew by 17.4 percent followed by Black Friday where sales increased 20.7 percent over last year.
• Mobile Shopping: Mobile purchases soared with 24 percent of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site, up from 14.3 percent in 2011. Mobile sales exceeded 16 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2011.
• The iPad Factor: The iPad generated more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, reaching nearly 10 percent of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 8.7 percent and Android 5.5 percent. The iPad dominated tablet traffic at 88.3 percent followed by the Barnes and Noble Nook at 3.1 percent, Amazon Kindle at 2.4 percent and the Samsung Galaxy at 1.8 percent.
• Multiscreen Shopping: Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall 58 percent of consumers used smartphones compared to 41 percent who used tablets to surf for bargains on Black Friday.
• The Savvy shopper: While consumers spent more overall, they shopped with greater frequency to take advantage of retailer deals and free shipping. This led to a drop in average order value by 4.7 percent to $181.22. In addition, the average number of items per order decreased 12 percent to 5.6.
• Social Media Sentiment Index: Shoppers expressed positive consumer sentiment on promotions, shipping and convenience as well as the retailers themselves at a three to one ratio.
• Social Sales: Shoppers referred from Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube generated .34 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, a decrease of more than 35 percent from 2011.

iPad, iPhone dominate Thanksgiving, Black Friday 2012, mobile commerce

Source: IBM Corporation

“This year’s holiday shopper was hungry for great deals and retailers didn’t disappoint, rolling out compelling offers which consumers gobbled up on Thanksgiving straight through Black Friday,” said Jay Henderson, Strategy Director, IBM Smarter Commerce, in the press release. “The big winners were chief marketing officers who used technology to deliver customer experiences that not only connected shoppers with personalized deals but did so at the right touchpoint and at precisely the right time and place, whether on their couch or the store floor.”

“To remain relevant, retailers must find opportunities to participate in holiday rituals in ways that aid consumers’ attainment of the holidays they imagine — enjoying time with family and shopping when convenient,” said Tonya Bradford Assistant Professor, Mendoza School of Business, the University of Notre Dame, in the press release. “Technology provides more opportunities for retailers to create these experiences for consumers through their mobile computing devices.”

Holiday sales growth was led by several industries which include:
• Department stores continued to offer compelling deals and promotions that drove sales to grow by 16.8 percent over Black Friday 2011.
• Health and Beauty sales increased 11 percent year over year with consumers once again choosing to pamper themselves this holiday.
• Home goods maintained its momentum this year, reporting a 28.2 percent increase in sales from Black Friday 2011.
• Apparel sales were also strong this holiday with Black Friday numbers showing an increase of 17.5 percent over 2011.

Today’s news is based on findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, the industry’s only cloud-based Web analytics platform that tracks more than a million e-commerce transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide.

Analysis of public social media content came from the IBM Social Sentiment Index, an advanced analytics and natural language processing tool that analyzes large volumes of social media data to assess public opinions. With this data IBM helps chief marketing officers (CMOs) better understand and respond to the needs of each individual customer, improving sourcing, inventory management, marketing, sales and services programs.

More information on Smarter Commerce can be found at www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/smarter_commerce/overview/

Source: IBM Corporation

MacDailyNews Take: Duh, I want to waste my money on an Android iPhone wannabe or iPad knockoff and be forevermore relegated to second-class-or-worse afterthought status by developers, retailers, vehicle makers, accessory makers, and everyone else on the planet! Ain’t I sooo smart?!

Related articles:
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012
Game over, Android: Apple owns 84% of mobile gaming revenue – May 7, 2012
Wealthy smartphone users more likely to have iPhones; less likely to play games, tweet – April 2, 2012
U.S. Apple product users split evenly between Republicans and Democrats; Half of U.S. households own at least one Apple product – March 28, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
Apple iPhone users most open to mobile payments – August 22, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer, less conservative than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Nielsen: Mac users are better educated and make more money than PC users – July 12, 2002