Close this search box.

Mobile retail traffic booms in run-up to Christmas – and shows the changing role of the retail website, says IBM

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

The volume of traffic to UK retail websites coming from mobile devices was up by more than 60% year on year in October 2013 compared to October 2012 and sales from mobile up 80% over the same period – pointing clearly to this being a very mobile yuletide and showing how the role of retailer website is changing.

So finds the latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark – and retailers must take note as the pace of mobilisation isn’t going to slacken off says Big Blue. “The acceleration in the proportion of sales from mobile devices is significant”, says Chris Withers, head of Smarter Commerce for retail, Europe, IBM. “The big trends driving mobile – which include the increase in adoption of tablets and smartphones, plus the optimisation of retailer digital sites for mobile devices – will continue to be strong in 2014, and retailers need to assess the split between investment in their .com platform and their mobile offerings.”

The changing role of the retail website provides opportunities for retailers both in-store and online. As consumers access sites and interact with brands via always-connected and permanently at-hand smartphone devices, retailers can seize the opportunity to evolve their relationships with customers.

Indeed, a study of 4,000 C-Suite executives released by IBM in October revealed the extent to which companies are opening up to customer input: 21 percent of CMOs say their organisations collaborate with customers today using social networks; 78% expect to do so in the next 3 to 5 years.

“The findings highlight the need for retailers to invest in mobile-optimised websites. But in addition, mobile offers exciting opportunities to innovate the customer experience in-store. With location awareness through a consumer’s mobile device, the store can become instrumented in the same way as a website today, offering marketers the ability to build location and context specific campaigns, and helping store colleagues to offer a better service,” says Withers.

Drilling into the year on year data

Comparing Oct 2012 with Oct 2013 in the UK, the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark found:

· October YoY online retail sales increased by 8.7%

· Average Order Value is up by 3.8% YoY at £97.35

· Mobile % of site traffic is up by over 60% YoY, Mobile % of sales is up over 80% YoY

· Smartphones drive more traffic than tablets (22.32% vs. 20.41%) but tablets drive nearly twice as many purchases than smartphones (20.19% vs. 11.3%)

· Another way to say this: Of all mobile traffic, smartphones drive 52%, tablets drive 48%

· Tablet users spend more average time on site compared to smartphone users (6:00 vs 4:19)

· Mobile traffic by device: iPad 17.18%; iPhone 13.41%

· Samsung accounts for 66% of all Android traffic (another way to look at it – Samsung accounts for or 7.12% of all online traffic)

· Social % of site referral traffic is 0.53% with Facebook driving the majority of referrals to retail sties.

Pinterest referral Average Order Value is 7.2% higher than Facebook referral. However, Facebook orders convert at twice the rate of Pinterest orders.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on